The ¥16 billion ($146 million) acquisition of 8-sq.-km Mage Island will pave the way for relocating the practice site for U.S. carrier-borne fighters from Iwo Jima.
The U.S. used to conduct takeoff and landing practice at Atsugi air base in Kanagawa Prefecture, but the training site was moved to Iwo Jima in the 1990s on a temporary basis due to complaints about noise.
As a result, the United States asked Japan to prepare a more convenient and permanent location for the drill.
Mage Island is about 400 km from Iwakuni, while Iwo Jima is 1,400 km away.
“Building a permanent training facility is necessary to reduce worries among local people (in Iwakuni).