Japan anticipated war against China. Photo/Reuters
TOKYO – Japanese marines in amphibious assault vehicles stormed the coast of an island on the edge of the East China Sea on Sunday (11/19/2023) in a simulated attack to drive invaders from an area that Tokyo fears is vulnerable to attack from China.
As tensions rise with neighbors China, Russia and North Korea, the drills on the southwestern island of Tokunoshima cap an 11-day nationwide series of drills called 05JX, intended to demonstrate the readiness of land, sea and air forces to defend Japan’s territory and infrastructure, including power plants. nuclear power electricity.
“The goal of JX is to show that if there is an emergency situation resulting from an attack, we can respond in a joint manner,” General Yoshihide Yoshida, chief of staff of the Joint Self-Defense Forces, said after observing the drills in Tokunoshima, reported by Reuters.
China’s defense ministry could not be reached on Sunday for comment on the Japanese drills.
The Ground Self-Defense Force’s amphibious assault vehicles were launched from two Maritime Self-Defense Force landing ships anchored offshore. Other troops arrived in semi-inflatable rubber boats, and heavy equipment was brought to shore by military aircraft.
Unlike many beaches along Japan’s southwestern island chain that stretches to Taiwan, the beaches at Tokunoshima lack coral reefs that would complicate military operations.
The scope and pace of military exercises in Japan will likely increase in the next few years, including with US troops, after Prime Minister Fumio Kishida in December announced the country’s biggest military buildup since World War Two, with a pledge to double defense spending. five years.
Kishida has warned that East Asia could become the next Ukraine, if China, emboldened by Russia’s attacks on its neighbors, attacks Taiwan.
The planned spending of 43.5 trillion yen (USD 290 billion) will be used for new weapons such as long-range missiles as well as to increase stockpiles of spare parts and ammunition to fight ongoing conflicts.
But the yen’s sharp decline this year has forced Japan to scale back some planned purchases, including a new model of US-made Chinook helicopters that the Japanese military used in exercises in Tokunoshima.