Ever since the end of WWII Japan has not pushed it’s military prowes….
But with China increasingly flexing against Taiwan ?
Every country in Asia is worried….
Japan now has pushed to integrate its military operations with US forces that would send a signal to the Chinese military….
(Japan has also signed on to a tighter military association with the UK)
Everyone has had an eye on the Ukraine/Russian land war action and it’s possible relevance to China and Taiwan….
The US and Japan announced a significant strengthening of their military relationship and upgrade of the US military’s force posture in the country on Wednesday[Jan. 12/2023], including the stationing of a newly redesignated Marine unit with advanced intelligence, surveillance capabilities and the ability to fire anti-ship missiles, according to two US officials briefed on the matter.
US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said during a press conference with Secretary of State Antony Blinken, Japanese Foreign Minister Hayashi Yoshimasa, and Japanese Defense Minister Hamada Yasukazu, that the 12th Marine Regiment, an artillery regiment, would be redesignated as the 12th Marine Littoral Regiment.
“We’re replacing an artillery regiment with an outfit that’s, that’s more lethal, more agile, more capable,” he said, adding that the move would “bolster deterrence in the region and allow us to defend Japan and its people more effectively.”…
It is one of the most significant adjustments to US military force posture in the region in years, one official said, underscoring the Pentagon’s desire to shift from the wars of the past in the Middle East to the region of the future in the Indo-Pacific. The change comes as simulated war games from a prominent Washington think tank found that Japan, and Okinawa in particular, would play a critical role in a military conflict with China, providing the United States with forward deployment and basing options.
“I think it is fair to say that, in my view, 2023 is likely to stand as the most transformative year in US force posture in the region in a generation,” said Ely Ratner, the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Indo-Pacific Security Affairs, at the American Enterprise Institute last month.
The news follows the stand-up of the first Marine Littoral Regiment in Hawaii last year, in which the 3rd Marine Regiment in Hawaii became the 3rd Marine Littoral Regiment – a key part of the Marine Corps’ modernization effort outlined in the 2030 Force Design report from Gen. David Berger….
In addition to the restructuring of Marines in the country, the US and Japan announced on Wednesday that they are expanding their defense treaty to include attacks to or from space amid growing concern about the rapid advancement of China’s space program and hypersonic weapons development.
In November, China launched three astronauts to its nearly completed space station as Beijing looked to establish a long-term presence in space. China has also explored the far side of the moon and Mars….
The announcements came less than a month after Japan unveiled a new national security plan that signals the country’s biggest military buildup since World War II, doubling defense spending and veering from its pacifist constitution in the face of growing threats from regional rivals, including China.
China has been growing its naval and air forces in areas near Japan while claiming the Senkaku Islands, an uninhabited Japanese-controlled chain in the East China Sea, as its sovereign territory….
“Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, sort of moved things on warp drive a little bit,” the official said. “The relationship between Putin and Xi Jinping that we saw in the lead up to the Beijing Olympics, that kind of showed, wait a minute, the Russians and the Chinese are working in new ways. We’re facing new challenges.”
And it’s not just the US – Japan and Britain also announced on Wednesday that the two countries would be signing a “historic defense agreement” that would allow them to deploy forces in each other’s countries.
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