Home News Japan increases military presence in Okinawa to counter China

Japan increases military presence in Okinawa to counter China


The number and armament of the Japanese army on the island of Okinawa will increase significantly

Japan is considering increasing the size of its Okinawa-based ground forces in the face of China’s “growing assertiveness,” the Kyodo Tsushin news agency reported Dec. 3.

Japanese samurai

Japanese samurai

Ivan Shilov © IA REGNUM

This was stated to the agency by a well-informed source in the Japanese government.

In a move that could further heighten tensions with China, the Japanese Ministry of Defense plans to increase the number of infantry regiments in the 15th Brigade of the Self-Defense Forces from one to two.

The planned changes, which will be included in one of the three key security documents that the Japanese government will review later this month, are expected to effectively turn the Okinawan brigade into a division.

According to the source, the Ministry of Defense is considering how much it will increase the strength of the brigade, which now has 2,200 people.

The 15th Brigade, based in the Okinawa prefectural capital of Naha, became the vanguard in the defense of the Nansei Islands, a chain stretching southwest from Kyushu towards Taiwan.

The brigade’s mission is to protect the Senkaku Islands, a group of islands in the East China Sea administered by Japan but claimed by China.

The defense ministry also plans to increase the number of units responsible for communications, facility maintenance and merchandise, the source said. The brigade will also be given some administrative

According to the source, some of the administrative functions of the Western Army stationed in Kyushu, namely, coordinating with local authorities during the evacuation and protecting civilians in the event of “unforeseen circumstances.”

There was also a proposal to transfer part of the functions of supporting the missile units of the Western Army in the remote islands to a unit based in Okinawa.

Recall that three-quarters of US bases and military personnel are stationed precisely in Okinawa. US military installations occupy, in total, 18% of the entire territory of the island.


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