JDF JapanDefenseFocus No.55

~Scenery of Japan~ Yakushima Island

Yakushima Island

Situated 60km off the southernmost tip of Kyushu Island in the southwestern end of Japanese Archipelago, Yakushima Island exhibits a rich flora, with some 1,900 species and subspecies, including ancient specimens of the sugi (Japanese cedar). Yakushima, despite being a small island, boasts several key features including impressive mountains which rise to nearly 2,000m, and an outstanding gradient from the high peaks of the central core down to the seacoast. The property is home to a number of extremely large diameter Japanese cedar trees, thousands of years old with the oldest. The island was inscribed on the World Heritage List in 1993.

Having thousands of remote islets around Japan’s main island, the SDF is committed to protect the lives of islanders through various activities, such as emergency transportation of patients. The GSDF 15th Brigade, located in Naha, Okinawa prefecture is responsible for Okinawa and Kagoshima Area, particularly the Amami Oshima and southward. Aircraft are standing by 24/7 to immediately respond to emergency situation. Since its first mission in 1972 to Aguni Island, the brigade is functioning as a critical lifeline in this region.

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