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Japan to expand Okinawa-based ground force unit

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Well look at that, a Japanese designed and manufactured Type 12 anti-ship missile fired from a Japanese manufactured launch vehicle. I can tell from the unique launcher and it's X-shaped support that behind this is a the equally all Japanese Type 03 medium range surface to air missile system. These systems are Japanese designed and built, and unique so far to the Japanese military. This refutes some of the narratives one too often reads here about Japan being dependent upon one nation for their armaments.

9 ( +16 / -7 )

This refutes some of the narratives one too often reads here about Japan being dependent upon one nation for their armaments.

People arent arguing that Japan is dependent upon one nation for it's armaments. People are arguing about depending upon one nation for it's defense.

Japan is capable of defending itself, yet people need to understand that ALL prefectures, including Okinawa, actually in PARTICULAR Okinawa, have to share the duty.

-2 ( +6 / -8 )

With a declining population (record numbers every year), just how is Japan going to boost the GSDF?

-8 ( +5 / -13 )

Preparing for confrontation with the occupiers?

-9 ( +3 / -12 )

"With a declining population (record numbers every year), just how is Japan going to boost the GSDF?"

How does SK do it?!

There are 51 million Koreans "only".

4 ( +10 / -6 )

@Desert Tortoise

Yes, while it IS probably very simplistic to frame things that way, a (most likely) carefully-chosen photo (by the JSDF or MOD PR dept) doesn't tell the whole picture either.

For a set of reasons, did Japan and its heavy industries put themselves in that spot.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Defense_industry_of_Japan

The current situation is that for decades:

The arms export ban was never lifted and by the post-Cold War era Japan's defense industry began to stagnate due to a combination of decreasing military budget, arms export ban and increasing research and development cost while maintaining a static R&D budget

Key point being that the end result of the ban was that no public and private money were being put into the industry.

The J-gov is ready to foot a part of the bill (with tax-payers money, of course) but the industry also has to put money into it and:

1 - we all know how much industries do NOT want to do that

2 - "rocking the boat" is a foreign concept in Japan and we are talking about decades-lasting situation

3 - the J-gov has an increasing treasury problem and will need to raise taxes. We all know who would be asked to pay and we all know that there is no further money available there.

4 - the results are far from being a given, just take the Mitsubishi commercial jet failure last decade...which if I recall was boasted as the first Mitsubishi airplane built...since the war.

...

the defense industry has historically faced head winds that prevented it from obtaining substantial growth. These headwinds include high production cost, low unit production, small domestic market, export ban, limited R&D budget and general pacifist views in Japan.

...

Another issue Japan faces is its lack of experience in exporting arms, exporting untested products and facing major competition against established suppliers.There is also hesitation for Japanese companies to participate due to arms sales representing a small amount of revenue and/or fear of reputation damage at home by being labeled as "merchants of death".

Key point on both the above: you need to see and go beyond the national market and that is when things will become even trickier (see below):

Arms export

For Japan, the benefits of exporting arms to another country includes improving economy of scale in the defense industry, lowering unit cost of the product and strengthen international relationships. 

> Following the end of the self imposed ban in 2014, Japan began to promote its arms to the international market and has attracted a number of countries interest in Japanese arms.Japan secured its first export on 17 July 2014 by supplying gyroscopes to the U.S. to develop PAC-2 missiles for Qatar.On 13 May 2015, Japan hosted its first military trade fair.

Despite the efforts, Japan continues to struggle with securing a major export deal. One issue Japan faces when exporting arms is the product's high unit cost and unique domestic requirements that might not be favorable for outside customers. In this regard, some have noted that Japan's defense industry suffers from Galápagos syndrome.

I would add another problem: buying weapons is also more than often a "diplomatic effort". You just need to see the headlines in the world press if one country switches from a long-time provider to another one. The reasons are not only technical or price-related. Japan's problem being that its diplomacy has been pretty much limited to "checkbook diplomacy" like...ever since.

It has been simple, quick and "diplomatically savvy" to pay for military weapons. The problem is that it has become far too costly over time.

Summary:

1 - the J-gov wants to put money into it, money it doesn't have while at the same time continuing to buy from abroad (money problem remains the same)

2 - industry is dragging feet

3 - how much money and time will it take to manufacture a product that could find buyers abroad to make the whole project viable

4 - how much diplomacy is Japan willing (and able) to put into it

I'm so much not going to bet my 2 cents on any of the above: all the J-gov's announcements are just the LDP-echo chamber in full throttle and will results in:

1 - more taxes nobody can pay

2 - more weapons being bought from abroad

The boat doesn't rock so easily in Japan...

-9 ( +7 / -16 )

With a declining population (record numbers every year), just how is Japan going to boost the GSDF?

It is a challenge faced by most of the developed world's military forces. AI, automation and unmanned systems are a major part of the solution. Developing systems that require less intensive maintenance is also vital as support tends to consume more manpower than actual operations. One of the reasons the Navy ditched the old F-14 was they required 40 or more man hours of maintenance for every hour in the air where an F/A-18 only requires 10-12 hours of maintenance for every flight hour.

9 ( +12 / -3 )

With a declining population (record numbers every year), just how is Japan going to boost the GSDF?

Even with that declining population Japan still manages to have one of the biggest, if not the biggest police force per capita in the world.

Just give a very large percentage of the youth no real way to earn a decent living, and they will join the police or the military.

-9 ( +3 / -12 )

Doubling the force would be around 4,400 soldiers. For an area as big as the Ryukyu Islands that still seems pretty small. Hopefully they also play a role in natural disasters as we all know typhoons roll through that part of the world regularly.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

@Blue, the short story is that Japan designs and manufactures the vast majority of its defense material. From handguns to combat ships to fighters and maritime patrol and heavy transport aircraft there is very little Japan does not build in house. All those F-15s, F-2, Chinooks and CH-46s in Japanese service are built in Japan. Something you omitted in your lengthy post is that in many ways the defense requirements for Japan are unique to Japan and thus Japanese systems do not translate well to other militaries. Exampes are the new Type 10 tank built to meet the bridge width and load weights of most Japanese highway bridges. There are reasons why the big heavy Type 90s are confined to Hokkaido. An American M-1A2 Abrams would break most Japanese bridges from its weight. The US Army has struggled for two decades, unsuccessfully so far, to replace their OH-58 Kiowa scout helicopters while Japan quietly developed and fielded their OH-1.

The Mitsubishi C-2 was designed to be able to maintain sufficient speed and altitude to share the Jet Airways with commercial aircraft. The big C-17 cannot do that. It's too slow. However many potential customers do not care about the ability of their transport aircraft to maintain the speeds and altitudes of commerical aircraft and are happy to have a slower aircraft that has other qualities. Japan built their aircraft for a specific need to support their UN committments and to keep their base in Dijbouti supplied. It is very good aircraft, just not what some other nations want. Same for the big P-1 maritime patrol plane. Great aircraft built to a specific Japanese requirement using Japanese weapons and sensors. Personally I think it might be a better ASW airplane than the Boeing P-8.

2 ( +6 / -4 )

With a declining population (record numbers every year), just how is Japan going to boost the GSDF?

There are 125 million of Japanese people, someone will do that job..

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

Japan should copy it's neighbor SK system and make military service mandatory for all men and women, following HS. Take care of any number of problems with "numbers" and give the "entitled" generation a sense of duty and service to country.

Sadly Japanese dont show much "patriotism" unless it's related to sports.

-10 ( +3 / -13 )

Why is Japan getting nervous about the China's Taiwan problem? China will not to touch Japanese territory. But in any case, is Japan scared China may, in the confusion, accidentally retake Senkaku which, is in a situation much like Taiwan's?

-7 ( +3 / -10 )

Military conscription is not good.

9 ( +12 / -3 )

Military conscription is not good.

It's not a military, it's a self-defense force. Large difference.

-12 ( +2 / -14 )

Yabaru

Japan should copy it's neighbor SK system and make military service mandatory for all men and women, following HS.

It's not a military, it's a self-defense force. Large difference.

You called it military service.

It's still military-like with military weapons. So instead of enlisted troops, we have special civil servants who can resign with one month's notice.

With military conscriptions, there would be two tiers. Would that require a change to the constitution?

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Japan to expand Okinawa-based ground force unit:

Again & again, China's rise & assertiveness are used as trivial excuses to beef up Japan's ground force unit.

Indirectly, Tokyo has been incessantly promoting arms race to tarnish/damage global peace.

Why? The past forgotten..?

-2 ( +7 / -9 )

Well look at that, a Japanese designed and manufactured Type 12 anti-ship missile fired from a Japanese manufactured launch vehicle. I can tell from the unique launcher and it's X-shaped support that behind this is a the equally all Japanese Type 03 medium range surface to air missile system. These systems are Japanese designed and built, and unique so far to the Japanese military. This refutes some of the narratives one too often reads here about Japan being dependent upon one nation for their armaments.

Yes and without question Japan is completely capability of manufacturing its own weapons .

However let's get something cleared before you misrepresent actual facts.

Japanese technology is by and large just a copycat game.

They didn't invent gunpowder , rocket technology ,combustion engine, or even the lightbulb.

As a former military man you should know it's not really honestly a Japanese design is it !

They just altered it a little and then call it Japanese.

Like Lockheed claiming to have made the first stealth bomber when it was truly the nazi horten bros and the Soviet physicist ufimtsev that invented /designed it

Great that Japan can make its own sophisticated modern weaponry but lets not say they truly designed it ok !

-12 ( +5 / -17 )

Japan should copy it's neighbor SK system and make military service mandatory for all men and women, following HS. Take care of any number of problems with "numbers" and give the "entitled" generation a sense of duty and service to country.

Sadly Japanese dont show much "patriotism" unless it's related to sports.

In actual fact mandatory service for Japanese men and women has been announced years ago that it's coming soon.

Mandatory service is coming if the LDP and kishida agenda continues.

I agree Japanese patriotism would be a good thing.

-17 ( +2 / -19 )

West-allied governments know stunting is coming up. Hopefully men in those countries are willing to fight....

0 ( +0 / -0 )

China just only needs to shut down the straight of Taiwan/Luzon after reunifying with Taiwan back to the mainland. Japan will be finished economically as badly as the Allied blockade of Japan during WW2. The shortest sea routes to Japan will be cut-off. Ships will have to go a longer route to Japan, and this will drive up the prices of imports. With the weakening Yen and economic fundamentals, Japan will be severely hurt like current Ukraine.

Even if the US "assists" Japan economically in this case, then it will be no different from the current EU. The US businesses overcharge their European "allies" in the imports of energy, so the possible case for Japan will be no different. A weak Yen is already making Japan far more vulnerable than the EU. Currently, in the EU, European businesses are already moving their companies to North America and Asia to avoid geopolitical showdowns. Japanese businesses have been doing the same thing for a while, and this hypothetical situation will accelerate it even more.

There are non-violent, brutal ways of defeating Japan without using military violence. China and Russia don't give care about Japan. They only worried about the US in East Asia!

-7 ( +10 / -17 )

Why is Japan getting nervous about the China's Taiwan problem? China will not to touch Japanese territory. But in any case, is Japan scared China may, in the confusion,  accidentally retake Senkaku which, is in a situation much like Taiwan's?

China will attack Japan before Taiwan is attacked. War with Japan is extremely popular in the Chinese public, and it is a sure way for any Chinese government to quickly shore up support.

Historically China always seen its neighbors as tribute/subject states with no rights to negotiate with them on equal terms.

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

Taiwan is an internal problem for China. China is no threat to Japan. That means that we are the threatening aggressor to China which gives them the legal right to launch a preemptive strike on Japan. As Japan hosts nuclear weapons on its sovereign territory and is blatantly threatening China, they have the right to use any of their 400 nuclear warheads on Japan. After the USA nuked two Japanese cities full of civilians before, and suffered no war crimes trials, China probably thinks if they nuke the aggressive Japan, there will be no international repercussions.

great job Kishida, spend our tax for your desire.

-5 ( +2 / -7 )

Why? The past forgotten..?

Hardly. It's just that the shoe is on the other foot. Today it is China behaving a lot like Japan and Nazi Germany did 90 years ago. Nobody has forgotten the lessons of WWII, that appeasement and weakness are not guarantors of peace but instead invite invasion and war.

2 ( +7 / -5 )

Taiwan is an internal problem for China. China is no threat to Japan.

That is not true and you know it. If China managed to conquer Taiwan then the Ryukyus would be next. The Chinese claim Japanese territory in the Senkaku Islands is part of China and has referred to Okinawa as being "Japanese occupied". The Japanese can read and understand the implications. If China was so peaceful and "no threat to Japan" why does their coast guard constantly violate Japanese territorial waters and why do they claim sovereignty over Japanese territory?

3 ( +7 / -4 )

Japan seems hellbent on starting a war

-11 ( +2 / -13 )

Why? The past forgotten..?

Denial syndrome...

(I gave an example to illustrate the point, which the moderator removed. Even here, we are not allowed to mention the fascist past of Japan.)

-9 ( +3 / -12 )

China just only needs to shut down the straight of Taiwan/Luzon.

You make it sound so easy. Those are international waters in every sense of international maritime law. The instant China tries to close them they will have a multinational naval war on their hands that they could not win. The impacts on China would be severe, not just militarily but for their trade. It would become impossible to obtain maritime insurance for shipments to or from Chinese ports. Trade flows would be reduced to a trickle even without naval action in the Strait of Malacca or Strait of Hormuz. If it was as easy as you posit they would have done so by now. It's not, though it may appear so from the safety and comfort of your computer room.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

Japan knows they illegally annexed Okinawa and invaded korea , manchuria and other tributary countries/allies of China.

And how could China possibly forget Nanjing.

Hence Japan is bolstering its defense and feels threatened by China.

Japan paid the price for attacking pearl harbor but however China hasn't really held them accountable yet .

And by the way - the senkaku islands are within the city limits of ishigaki Island where the new base is being built.

-4 ( +6 / -10 )

Taiwan is an internal problem for China.

Taiwan being independent, is an International issue for all nations.

China is no threat to Japan.

China is the main threat to Japan and to Japanese territory such as the Senkaku islands and Okinawa.

That means that we are the threatening aggressor to China

No, it means Japan must defend itself from Chinese attempts to steal territory.

which gives them the legal right to launch a preemptive strike on Japan.

No, if anything it gives Japan the right to launch a defensive preemtive strike against China.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

Japan seems hellbent on starting a war

It is China that is hellbent on starting a war and Jinping has even stated, "prepare for war and prepare to win it."

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Taiwan was never historically a part of China. It was populated by peaceful indigenous people. The mainlanders came en masse first on the coattails of the Dutch colony in Anping distric southwest Taiwan and in a second wave to escape communists in WW2. The land should be given back to the rightful indigenous owners and protected from external threats by UN security forces

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Peter14,where would you run if Japan is attacked,is their any missile battery near Tokyo

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Rodney, China has so nukes,they are literally in one location in Tibet

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Peter14,where would you run if Japan is attacked,is their any missile battery near Tokyo

Like you I am not a resident of Japan. If Tokyo was attacked I would be as threatened as you are.

Rodney, China has so nukes,they are literally in one location in Tibet

They have bombers that can drop nuclear weapons/missiles and they have nuclear submarines with nuclear missiles on board (boomers). The silo's in Tibet are one of three means of nuclear response or attack.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Japan do not have any nuclear bomber's or deterrent,even the Canadian want to get under the US nuclear umbrella

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Everyone in the immediate Asia region live 5 Minutes from being destroyed,this why you people should try to get along

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Japan do not have any nuclear bomber's or deterrent,even the Canadian want to get under the US nuclear umbrella

Canada, being a NATO member is already under the nuclear umbrella of USA, France and UK.

Everyone in the immediate Asia region live 5 Minutes from being destroyed,

Including China, North Korea and Russia, not just Japan and South Korea or the Philippines and Vietnam.

this why you people should try to get along

Easier said than done. Getting along is one thing, being bullied into capitulation is another. It is not a one way street.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

In a move that could further heighten tensions with China, the Defense Ministry plans to double the number of infantry regiments under the Ground Self-Defense Force's 15th Brigade to two, as well as upgrade its highest rank from major general to general, the source said.

Yes it is a move that will absolutely further heighten tensions.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

The nations of the world had hoped that China would mature into a beneficent Big Brother, instead of a threatening Big Bully.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Taiwan was never historically a part of China. It was populated by peaceful indigenous people.

Aboriginal Malay tribes and indigenous tribes and perhaps not as peaceful as you might imagine.

Aboriginals being the true owners with Pacific islanders trying to dominate the area.

However to be correct - that Taiwan was once its own republic of Formosa internationally recognized that was officially founded by Chinese .

Not communist Chinese but still Chinese nonetheless.

Until Japan invaded and colonized Formosa Taiwan for 50 yrs and lost them thier independence.

Taiwan still claims to be the rightful government of all of China so technically yes they're Chinese and hence still engaged in a civil war.

Taiwanese are Chinese.

-6 ( +1 / -7 )

Rodney, China has so nukes,they are literally in one location in Tibet

China has three large ICBM fields in western China with hundreds of silos in each field, none of which are in Tibet.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Taiwan still claims to be the rightful government of all of China so technically yes they're Chinese and hence still engaged in a civil war.

Technically true, though no shots have been exchanged since the early 1960s.

Taiwanese are Chinese.

Mainland Chinese born residents of Taiwan never amounted to more than 15% of the total population. Today, after 73 going on 74 years of separation you have Taiwanese who were born and died without ever knowing mainland China. Most modern Taiwanese feel no affinity to the mainland. Younger Taiwanese have never known anything but free speech, a free press and an elected representative government. There is no affinity for China in Taiwan.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Cool, now, fire some off in the direction of china, just for fun.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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