The Ground Self-Defense Force will be equipped with three transport vessels in 2024 for its units stationed on remote southwestern islands, as part of efforts to deal with China's military buildup, government sources said Saturday.

It will be the first provision of such vessels to the GSDF, which has been upgrading its response capabilities to cope with new security challenges, such as China's maritime expansion around the Nansei Islands, a chain stretching southwest toward Taiwan.

With the three vessels to be built and deployed, Japan aims to stably supply ammunition, fuel and food to the troops on the remote islands, according to the sources.