Deal Reached To Buy Island For Us Aircraft Drills

Deal reached to buy island for US aircraft drills

Japan's Defense Ministry says it has reached an agreement to purchase an island in the country's southwest to use as a new staging ground for US carrier aircraft drills.

The ministry plans to relocate the landing exercises to Mageshima island in Kagoshima Prefecture, from the Pacific island of Ioto, also known as Iwojima, of the Ogasawara island chain.

It also plans to build a new facility to accommodate both Japan's Self-Defense Forces and the US military.

Ministry officials say they reached a basic agreement on Friday with the firm that owns most of Mageshima to acquire the land for about 146 million dollars.

The United States has been pressing Japan to build a new training site, saying the remote location of Ioto Island presents safety hazards for personnel.