Last week Japan's deputy defense minister Kenji Wakamiya visited the island to meet with the mayor of Ishigaki and explain the defense ministry's plans to send 500 Ground Self-Defense Force troops to Ishigaki.
The island belongs to the Yaeyama Islands groups in southwestern Japan, and is close to the Senkaku/Diaoyu islands, which are controlled by Japan. The uninhabited islands are the subject of a territorial dispute with China, which also claims them as its territory.
The Japanese government has decided to delay the deployment of 500 troops to Ishigaki because of the Okinawa gubernatorial election in November last year, reported Japan's Yomiuri Shimbun.
Before then, around 150 coastal monitoring troops will be deployed to the island of Yonaguni in Okinawa, as well as security and missile units of some 800 troops in total on the island of Miyakojima in Okinawa, by April 2016.
Around 550 troops will be deployed on the island of Amami Oshima in Kagoshima Prefecture by the end of 2018.
This year, the Japanese government plans to deploy a 150-person coastal surveillance unit to the Japan's most western point, Yonagunijima Island in Okinawa Prefecture.