skip to main content

Japan deploys anti-ship missile unit in Okinawa

The Type 12 SSM is pictured (left), being launched from a transporter-erector-launcher vehicle. Images on the right show the system's sensor and control station. (Japanese MoD)

The Japan Ground Self-Defense Force (JGSDF) has deployed an anti-ship missile (ASM) unit known as the β€˜7th Surface-to-Ship Missile Regiment' at the JGSDF's Katsuren camp located at Uruma city in Okinawa Prefecture, the Japanese Ministry of Defense (MoD) said in late March.

The new unit is equipped with Type 12 coastal-defence surface-to-ship guided missiles, which are deployed for the first time in Okinawa, the MoD added.

Japan's State Minister of Defense Oniki Makoto said that the unit is expected to play a central role in Japan's defence of the southwestern region, Japanese public broadcaster NHK reported. He added that the unit is tasked with blocking a possible invasion of the remote islands from the sea and eliminating invading forces.

The unit will also take on the role of supervising other missile units deployed on Miyako-jima and Ishigakijima islands in Okinawa as well as on Amami Ōshima island in Kagoshima Prefecture, according to NHK.

In September 2021 the Japan MoD first decided to deploy Type 12 ASM batteries, along with up to about 180 troops, to Okinawa Island to enhance the country's capability to defend its remote southwestern islands amid China's growing assertiveness in the region.

Looking to read the full article?

Gain unlimited access to Janes news and more...