Japanese troops will begin arriving on California’s southern coast over the next two weeks, and it’s all for the best.
The troops from the US ally will begin to arrive in order to train the country’s troops in the art of amphibious attacks.
In an unprecedented show of military power and US cooperation, Japan’s Self-Defense Force will train for a variety of situations. The exercises are not just about offensive and defensive maneuvers; the troops will also learn better ways to deal with natural disasters and other issues that may arise at any given time.
In the meantime, China will be watching the joint exercises very closely as tensions between Tokyo and Beijing continues over claimed islands in the East China Sea.
The drills, which are scheduled to begin on Tuesday, came under fire when Chinese officials asked that the drills be canceled. The request of the cancellation was uncovered by Japan’s Kyodo News service, which cited unnamed Japanese government sources. The Japanese Defense and Foreign Ministries would not confirm if China asked that the drills be cancelled.
In a comment to the Associated Press, China’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei said:
“We hope the relevant sides can focus on peace and stability in this region, and do more to contribute to mutual trust and regional peace and stability.”
In the meantime, US officials claim that developing a stronger Japanese presence in the Asia-Pacific region is a sound strategy during a time in which Defense Department budget cuts are being realized. US officials also point to North Korea’s burgeoning missile capabilities as a reason for further concern and increased training.
Japan already features a strong navy that is considered one of the most well-equipped in the world and one of the best-trained. However, Japan’s navy lacks a strong ability to storm beaches, and it is sorely lacking in other amphibious capabilities.
In 2012, China acquired its first aircraft carrier, a fact that led to Japan purchasing a new slew of amphibious landing craft. Japan also moved many of its troops to better protect its southern borders and sea lanes.
Japanese troops coming to America marks the first time such a large undertaking with warships has been taken so far from home. The US exercises will include members of Japan’s sea, air, and ground forces.
In the meantime, Japanese troops being better trained will mean less young men and women from the US armed forces will be put in harms way over regional conflicts.
Do you think its a good idea for the US Military to help train Japanese troops on a massive scale?