Japan to Deploy More Troops Near Disputed Senkaku Islands

by John Galt
November 24, 2015 23:30 ET

In what can only be seen as a move to antagonize the Chinese government and military, the Japanese government announced that they would be deploying 500 more Ground Self-Defense Forces (GSDF) into the Senkaku Island region near Okinawa.


While this might seem as a non-provocative move under the guise of United States mainstream media reporting, in China this will be viewed as a forward deployment of offensive military forces near islands which they claim as their own. The Japanese perspective is quite different as the newspaper Yomiuri Shimbun outlined earlier this evening:

The government will send about 500 Ground Self-Defense Force personnel to Ishigakijima island in Okinawa Prefecture in a planned deployment to strengthen defense of the Nansei Islands, it has been learned.

The government aims to complete the deployment under the next Mid-Term Defense Program from fiscal 2019 to 2023, according to sources.

Vice Defense Minister Kenji Wakamiya will visit the island to seek Ishigaki Mayor Yoshitaka Nakayama’s understanding on the issue as early as this week, the sources said.

The planned deployment is expected to include security, missile and other units that could handle initial responses to major disasters and attacks on outlying islands.

The government initially planned to study the deployment under the current Mid-Term Defense Program and to decide on the details — including the the number of personnel — in 2014.

Innocent enough, right?

Not when one continues to read the article as continued below and realizes that this is a move to prepare for some sort of conflict, apparently set in the near future:

The government is trying to strengthen the Nansei Islands’ defenses because of China’s increased maritime advances in the East China Sea.

On Nov. 11 and 12, Chinese intelligence vessels approached the contiguous zone — a 22-kilometer strip beyond territorial waters — off the Senkaku Islands in Okinawa Prefecture.

This fiscal year, the government plans to deploy a 150-person coastal surveillance unit to the nation’s westernmost point, Yonagunijima island in Okinawa Prefecture. Deployments of security and missile units are planned by fiscal 2018 to Miyakojima island in Okinawa Prefecture with 700 to 800 personnel and to Amami-Oshima island in Kagoshima Prefecture with 550 members.

The government plans to deploy long-range ground-to-air and ground-to-ship missiles to Ishigaki, Miyako and Amami-Oshima islands to increase deterrence against fighter planes and warships trying to approach Japanese territory.

The Nansei Islands are an important area for national security, extending over about 1,200 kilometers. However, GSDF personnel are only stationed on Okinawa Island.

Decisions on the details of the GSDF deployment to Ishigakijima mean that the government has completed compiling the defense plan for the Nansei Islands.

With this action, it is clear that the Japanese military insists on defending its claim to those islands, with or without US assistance. If a conflict should arise however, the entire Western Pacific, including every major trade route, would be impacted by such a conflict. Nice job Obama, keep on starting new wars even after you falsely claimed the “war on terror” was over.

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: