U.S. strengthens Marine unit in Japan amid new Chinese threats

Date:

U.S. strengthens Marine unit in Japan amid new Chinese threats

  • news by AUN News correspondent
  • Thursday, January 12, 2023
  • AUN News – ISSN: 2949-8090

Summary:

  • The number of American soldiers stationed in Japan won’t change, but according to Austin, the new force that will take the place of the 12th Artillery Regiment will be “more lethal, more nimble, and more capable.”

  • “18,000 U.S. Marines are stationed in Japan, mainly in Okinawa.

  • There are around 54,000 American soldiers overall in Afghanistan.

  • “Japan’s Defense Minister Yasukazu Hamada says China is the “unique and largest strategic challenge” to the U.S.-Japan alliance.

  • In addition, Hamada expressed concern about “increased military cooperation” between Moscow and Beijing, a subliminal allusion to the last month of Chinese-Russian naval drills in the East China Sea.

According to Defense Department officials, the action sends a clear message to China that the United States can defend Japan quickly and that the new unit will be ready to react quickly to emergencies.

Designed for operations in coastal seas, a Marine Littoral Regiment is a stealthy unit. It has Naval Strike Missiles installed on unmanned Joint Light Tactical Vehicle variants. There are 1,800 to 2,000 service personnel in each unit.

Two days before President Joe Biden is scheduled to meet with Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida at the White House, Austin broke the news during a press conference at the State Department with Secretary of State Antony Blinken and their Japanese counterparts.

The number of American soldiers stationed in Japan won’t change, but according to Austin, the new force that will take the place of the 12th Artillery Regiment will be “more lethal, more nimble, and more capable.” He stated that the transfer should be finished by 2025.

The adjustment is necessary to discourage China from a potential invasion of Taiwan. Blinken says that China has recently tried to change the status quo, which has kept peace and stability for a long time.

This was a subtle reference to China’s increasing military threats against Taiwan. In recent weeks, a record number of bombers with nuclear weapons flew into Taiwan’s air defense identification zone. According to Austin, these actions represent Beijing’s efforts to “create a new normal” in the Taiwan Strait that favors Chinese military dominance; they added that he didn’t believe “an invasion is imminent.”

18,000 U.S. Marines are stationed in Japan, mainly in Okinawa. But many American soldiers have always been a source of tension with Tokyo. There are around 54,000 American soldiers overall in Afghanistan.

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