09:26 GMT +320 January 2019
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    Japan to Buy Uninhabited Island for Carrier Aircraft Drills With US – Report

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    Mage Island is located 400 kilometres (248 miles) from US-run Iwakuni Air Force Base in the south-east of Honshu Island, where about 60 US carrier-capable aircraft were earlier deployed.

    The Japanese Ministry of Defence has decided to allocate around 16 billion yen (more than $147 million) for the purchase of uninhabited Mage Island in Kagoshima Prefecture in the country's south-west to use it for massive aircraft drills involving US aircraft carriers, according to Japan's Yomiuri newspaper.

    The island, currently owned by a private company from Tokyo, is expected to be handed over to the Japanese military before the end of March. A preliminary agreement is due to be signed in the next few days.

    READ MORE: Three US Osprey Jets Arrive at Japan's Misawa Air Base for Joint Military Drills

    Planes make a lot of noise taking off and landing during the deck-based aircraft exercises, something that has repeatedly prompted residents and local governments to protest in Japan.

    As a result, the drills were moved to the almost-deserted remote island of Iwo Jima, located more than 1,200 kilometres (745 miles) from Tokyo.

    In 2011, the US and Japanese military agreed to work out the issue of relocating a training ground for the deck-based drills to Mage Island, located just 400 kilometres (248 miles) from the US Iwakuni Air Force Base in the southeast of Honshu Island, where about 60 United States carrier-based aircraft were earlier deployed.

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    Japan Self-Defense Forces to Carry Out Drills With US Naval Group on Wednesday
    Tags:
    aircraft carriers, authorities, drills, population, military, protests, Mage Island, Japan, United States
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