US assures that it is capable to recapture the Seknaku Islands

Stars and Stripes online edition reports Lt. Gen. John Wissler, the commanding general of III Marine Expeditionary Force based in Japan confirming that the US is capable of recapturing Senkaku Islands should China invade it.

Wissler also mentioned that it might not be even needed to actually deploy troops on the islands.

During his meeting with the Chinese defense minister Chang Wanquan on Jul 8 US Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel reaffirmed that based on the Japan-US Security Treaty US is fully committed to defend the Senkaku Islands.



JSDF deployment will not be limited geographically

PM Abe’s administration has decided on the framework of “government policy” regarding the right to exercise collective self-defense. This policy is being set in advance of the cabinet decision about changing the Constitution interpretation to allow for the right to be exercised. The major point of the discussion was about where the “limit” is to be set for the right’s execution. As was reported by a government official on May 5, there will be no geographical limit for JSDF deployment mentioned. This is called to cover cases such as cyber attacks, attacks from space and others where geographical area cannot be determined.

At the same time PM Shinzo Abe wants to make it a “political decision” for JSDF not to be used in other countries’ territory, waters and airspace, and limit the application to Japan’s territory and international waters. It is thought that this move is to win over support from Komeito, which is wary about approval by Constitution interpretation. On the other hand, some believe that not setting geographical limit in writing will give government excessive powers to decide on JSDF deployment at its own discretion.

by Kyodo Tsushin

Military exercises on recapturing the remote islands to take place in May

The western infantry regiment (Nagasaki pref. Sasebo-shi) of the special battalion for defending the remote islands of JGSDF (Japan Ground Self-Defense Force) will be conducting military exercises in May on the inhabited Amami Islands. Defense Ministry announced this plan today. Military exercises will be trainings on recapturing of the remote islands.

Defense Ministry is responding to China’s activities in sea. Japan’s amphibian operation abilities are being strengthened and the landing drill at Amami is seen as a warning to China.

Defense Ministry reports that ground, marine and air forces will be taking part in the exercises. The total number of troops involved will reach 1300 men. JGSDF will be conducting landing drill at inhabited Kakeromajima and Eniyabanare Islands (Kagoshima pref., Setouchi-machi).

Newest surveillance P1 jet impresses Itsunori Onodera

Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera on Apr 23 visited JMSDF airbase at Atsugi (Kanagawa pref.) and flew the next generation Japanese surveillance plane coded P1. This fully Japan-built jet plane will be the successor to P3C surveillance plane that is currently in use.

Defense Minister Onodera after the flight praised the new jet to the press: “I was surprised with performance. Avionics, surveillance, assault ability are superior. This jet is the world top class. Japanese high technology level is fully reflected in this plane.”

P3C surveillance plane is being gradually taken out of service because of aging since 2008. Its successor P1 has flying altitude increased by 30% and flying distance increased by 20%. Its radar’s detecting ability was also improved. Presently the jet is conducting test flies and starting 2015 it will be put into service.