The Air Self-Defense Force will form a new air wing Sunday at its base in Naha, Okinawa Prefecture.
The move is part of the government’s efforts to enhance the defense of the Nansei island chain in the East China Sea amid China’s increasing maritime assertiveness, officials said Tuesday.
It will be the ASDF’s first new air wing in about 50 years, Defense Ministry officials said.
A fighter squadron will be transferred to Naha from the Tsuiki base in Fukuoka Prefecture to form the 9th Air Wing.
Separately, the Ground Self-Defense Force will create a new camp on the remote island of Yonaguni on March 28, the government said. About 150 personnel will be stationed there to conduct coastal surveillance.