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German navy chief vows long-term commitment to Indo-Pacific

30 Comments
By MARI YAMAGUCHI

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Peter14

Speculation. It has never been tested in battle.

I'm not saying things as a fancy takes me. See the Nov. 7, 2021 Jiji Press-streamed article, "Supersonic weapons, Race to develop them heating". The article is written in Japanese, though. Can you read Japanese?

As regards an electricity-powered military aircraft, I have to admit I mixed it up with an electronic warfare aircraft such as China's J-16D.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

China has developed supersonic cruise missiles that can finesse AEGIS defense systems easily;

Speculation. It has never been tested in battle.

has also developed electricity-powered aircraft that are said to have been put into practical military use already. 

Said by whom?

The US probably already uses electric powered drones for scouting including ones that stay in the air for days.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Desert Tortoise (Nov. 12 11:50 am JST),

The Chinese would take those sites quickly and easily absent strong US forces

China's military capacity seems to have caught up with the U.S. or even surpassed it in some areas. China has developed supersonic cruise missiles that can finesse AEGIS defense systems easily; has also developed electricity-powered aircraft that are said to have been put into practical military use already.  

Is your assessment of China's military capacity, with which China would easily take over key U.S. bases like Kadena, Futenma and Yokota, based on such an assumption? Can the “strong” U.S. military presence in Japan, in Okinawa in particular, be an answer to this? How will the Henoko new base play in this game?

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Oh. Yes, there's a U.S. base on Hokkaido with an area of 4,274,000 ㎡ or 1.63% of the total U.S. bases in Japan. Incidentally, the figures here and in the above post are quoted from JMoD.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

RegBilk,

Because the US has a treaty with Japan to protect this country.

If Japan's protection can be done without U.S. forces being directly deployed to Japan as the German case demonstrates, so much the better, for it reduces a great deal of burden on the part of Japanese taxpayers as well as U.S. service members. If a bilateral security treaty obliges both countries to resort to the current arrangement, that treaty is defective, must be scrapped and revised for a better one.

In Okinawa, the bases were originally for the purpose of preparing for the land invasion of Kyushu during WWII.

That war you're talking about is long over, so that the role-finished bases must be closed and returned to Okinawa right then and there.

On the multiple bases on other islands in Japan such as Kyushu, the main island of Japan, and Hokkaido, US bases are more frequently sharing bases with the SDF.

There's no military base in Hokkaido that is used exclusively by U.S. forces. JSDF maintains a training base there which is jointly used by U.S. forces including USF Okinawa.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

But there's no doubt that initial missile attacks would be against key U.S. bases such as Kadena, Futenma and Yokota. Would U.S. forces be sitting on fences and enjoying to see it happen?

The Chinese would take those sites quickly and easily absent strong US forces. There is the problem for Japan. China covets Okinawa and Taiwan. Are you proposing the US simply abandon Japan to its fate and let the Chinese have their way? Are you so naive to think China would not take both given the chance? Be very clear on this.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Desert Tortoise,

US forces are indeed there to defend Japan, in the process relieving Japan of the necessity of building certain classes of weapons that could be seen as threatening their neighbors as well as violating Japan's Constitution.

Should contingencies ever occur, U.S. forces would certainly be mobilized to retaliate against enemy missiles without any doubt. But there's no doubt that initial missile attacks would be against key U.S. bases such as Kadena, Futenma and Yokota. Would U.S. forces be sitting on fences and enjoying to see it happen?

So, your statement that "if US forces were not there, Japan would have to face implacable enemies on its own" is void and empty. On this groundless premise, you cannot demand Japan provide the U.S. forces with 262,935,000 ㎡ of land mass for their exclusive use, of which Okinawa is obliged to provide 184,833,000 ㎡ or 70.30% of the total U.S. bases in Japan.

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The US appreciates Germany's support.

voiceofokinawaNov. 10  06:21 pm JST

If war ships travelling halfway around the globe to Japan could be deterrence, why shouldn't U.S. forces take similar measures, that is, coming to Japan's aid only when contingencies might occur. Why should they maintain so many bases in Japan, in Okinawa in particular, occupying so much land, sea and air space?

Because the US has a treaty with Japan to protect this country.

In Okinawa, the bases were originally for the purpose of preparing for the land invasion of Kyushu during WWII.

On the multiple bases on other islands in Japan such as Kyushu, the main island of Japan, and Hokkaido, US bases are more frequently sharing bases with the SDF.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

You seem to have confirmed what I said about USFJ is true: U.S. troops are stationed here not necessarily for the defense of Japan but ultimately for not letting the genie out of the bottle.

If so, what’s the use of building a replacement for Futenma, that will be completely a white elephant from Japanese perspectives? How do you respond?

US forces are indeed there to defend Japan, in the process relieving Japan of the necessity of building certain classes of weapons that could be seen as threatening their neighbors as well as violating Japan's Constitution. Considering the region, if US forces were not there Japan would have to face implacable enemies on its own and feel the need to develop long range missiles, bombers, amphibious assault and logistics ships, maybe even nuclear weapons. Instead Japan has a force that is tied to their home islands and lacks long range punch. Until quite recently that worked very well for every nation in the region. Keeping the genie in the bottle as you put it allowed the rest of Asia to develop economically and socially without feeling the need to engage in an arms race to protect themselves from the Japanese. One almost cannot understate how important that was to other Asian nations. Now unfortunately the arms race is on in earnest, but this time to protect themselves from the Chinese.

Moving the airfield and related activities from Futenma to Camp Schwab is to remove a major irritant to the people of Ginowan City and allow the return of land to the former landowners or their heirs. Even if the Marines only deployed there periodically from the US they would still need a good airfield to operate from. What the Marines are building is not a whole lot different than the second parallel runway at Naha Airport. I don't hear any angst about that project.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

You seem to have confirmed what I said about USFJ is true: U.S. troops are stationed here not necessarily for the defense of Japan but ultimately for not letting the genie out of the bottle.

If so, what’s the use of building a replacement for Futenma, that will be completely a white elephant from Japanese perspectives?  How do you respond?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I wonder what the German reaction would be to the Chinese navy sailing down the Rhine?

The German frigate stayed in international waters until its visit to Japan, where it was welcome. The PLAN has sent combat ships through the Baltic for an exercise with the Russian Navy and the Germans never disputed their right to sail through there or to conduct military exercises with the Russians. International waters are just that. It is primarily China that refuses to acknowledge international law in this regard.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

The U.S. military presence in Japan, in Okinawa in particular, with so many bases and facilities planted, is not necessarily for the defense of Japan, as is propagandized. Mind you. Its raison d'etre is ultimately against Japan, that is, to not let the genie out of the bottle. Otherwise, one cannot explain this excessive U.S. military presence.

Until quite recently Japan's neighbors feared a re-militarized Japan more than they feared China. Having US forces defending Japan relieved Japan of the need to build a military with the full range of capabilities and once again threaten the smaller nations of Asia. The JSDF was seen in the region as more of a well trained and well equipped adjunct to the US military that would only go into action alongside US forces if the Soviets decided to go to war against the west. Japanese forces lacked the ability to deploy abroad on their own. A lot of Asians until pretty recently honestly did not believe Japan would never repeat the horrors of WWII. Japanese reliance on the US for its defense let a lot of Asian nations sleep well at night. I know you do not like hearing that but it is the truth. I heard this over and over again in my travels around Asia-Pacific in the 1980s. Japan was reviled in the retion and nobody has forgotten the awful brutality of the IJA in their lands. You can thank Baby Ping Ping for changing opinions around Asia and in particular his repeated claims on Japan's Senkaku Islands and veiled threats against Okinawa. Thanks to Baby Ping Ping Japan faces very real threats to its territory so Japan is now looked up to as a nation who shares the same territorial threats from China other nations bordering the SCS face and is looked to for help countering China. I know you do not believe that but it is the truth. And if those US forces you so revile were to leave, the PLA will be two steps behind. But hey, I hear their aircraft make no noise, never crash and their soldiers are all eunuchs.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Thank you. Just as China flies its planes and sails its ships in Chinese waters and Chinese and international airspace. So "Taiwan" has nothing to object to.

Well nothing except that China continues to threaten to invade it, and practices for the event.

Why would any nation object to threats of invasion right? China just having a laugh at Taiwan's expense? I dont think so.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

The U.S. military presence in Japan, in Okinawa in particular, with so many bases and facilities planted, is not necessarily for the defense of Japan, as is propagandized. Mind you. Its raison d'etre is ultimately against Japan, that is, to not let the genie out of the bottle. Otherwise, one cannot explain this excessive U.S. military presence.

So, it's a caricature that Tokyo should be forging ahead with the construction of the Henoko new base in Okinawa, repeating the mantra that it's the only option to reduce Okinawa’s burden.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I wonder what the German reaction would be to the Chinese navy sailing down the Rhine?

I assume they might wonder why the Dutch let them in in the fist place...

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Peter14...

Probably the same as if the German navy sailed down the Yangtze. Lucky for both Germany is sticking to international waters. China has nothing to object to.

Thank you. Just as China flies its planes and sails its ships in Chinese waters and Chinese and international airspace. So "Taiwan" has nothing to object to.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Poor China ! All alone and no friends.

Communist China will always the support of Russia, officially or non officially.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

Poor China ! All alone and no friends.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Thanks Peter, was just about to comment about the above

@Mr Kipling, you do know the Rhine is a river right? Runs through at least two countries, highly doubt a foreign naval vessel would sail through without permission.

The South China Sea is an international waterway…hey, at least the name China is in there they should be happy with that!

5 ( +5 / -0 )

I wonder what the German reaction would be to the Chinese navy sailing down the Rhine?

Probably the same as if the German navy sailed down the Yangtze. Lucky for both Germany is sticking to international waters. China has nothing to object to.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Desert Tortoise (Today  01:25 pm JST),

If war ships travelling halfway around the globe to Japan could be deterrence, why shouldn't U.S. forces take similar measures, that is, coming to Japan's aid only when contingencies might occur. Why should they maintain so many bases in Japan, in Okinawa in particular, occupying so much land, sea and air space?

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

I wonder what the German reaction would be to the Chinese navy sailing down the Rhine?

-7 ( +2 / -9 )

Isn’t that playing with fire?

No, not at all. Deterrance works. A display of sufficient military power to make the Chinese question their ability to prevail should they chose to attack combined with a credible threat to use that power will prevent war, not start one. Turning your back on the Chinese, ignoring their aggression, guarantees they will attack. That a European land power is willing to send air and naval forces to the Pacific on a regular basis to confront China's illegal claims in the South China Sea and in support of Taiwan is an important part of deterrence.

7 ( +10 / -3 )

At a press conference held at the Japan National Press Club in Tokyo on Tuesday, Germany's Chief of Navy Vice Adm Kay-Achim Schonbach intimated that German war ships come here travelling half way around the globe to flex its muscle, that is, to demonstrate a show of force, before a rising China.

Isn’t  that playing with fire?

-7 ( +2 / -9 )

I admire his optimism when using ‘long term’. When I see news photos or video footage from city streets or influx pressure at all EU borders, I guess that will be soon an Islamic Afro-Arabic marine, and I doubt they prolong the commitment. And if they ever should, it’s too late for the Indo-Pacific too. ROFL

-8 ( +2 / -10 )

Good for Germany.

Doing their part to ensure democracy, freedom and rule of law in Asia.

Spotted a group of German sailors out sightseeing last Sunday. I guess the quarantine rules have been lifted.

Military forces are exempt from quarantine rules.

3 ( +7 / -4 )

China, which claims most of the disputed South China Sea as well as Japanese-held islands in the East China Sea, has defended its growing maritime activities and says it has the right to defend its sovereignty, security and development interests.

China's claims of sovereignty over the South China Sea have been deemed invalid by the International community. It therefore has no rights above anyone else's in that area.

China needs to stop being a trouble maker and correct its many wrong actions by becoming a good global citizen instead of a rouge nation. It will not happen under Jinping Xi who is turning his nation into a terrorist state using fear against those who are not willing to put Chinese interests above their own needs.

Well done Germany, France, Canada, Netherlands and Britain who sail from their own waters to protect the worlds trading sea lanes in Asia, and keep them fee and open for all. The world working for the common good, and opposing those who would cancel freedom in the region.

4 ( +9 / -5 )

Wasn't the EU trying to lead the way at COP26? No, all EU navies stay in your own AOR. Don't burn up your fuel to come all the way out here to participate in some dumb exercise just to enjoy shore leave.

-6 ( +3 / -9 )

Spotted a group of German sailors out sightseeing last Sunday. I guess the quarantine rules have been lifted.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

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