Japan is set to raise the number of contracted civilian ships for priority use to compensate for the Self-Defense Forces' transport capability shortfall in times of military contingencies, sources close to the matter said Thursday.

The government, which plans to increase the number of its contracted civilian vessels from two to around six, also plans to conduct research into constructing temporary piers to facilitate the smooth transport of supplies to remote islands where SDF bases are located.

The government intends to include the plans on improving transport capability in the National Defense Program Guidelines, which are slated to be revised by the end of this year, together with the National Security Strategy.