amphibious warfare

Invasion! Part 2: Islands in the Stream

Senkaku Islands. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, estimates of oil under the East China Sea run from 28 to 213 billion barrels. The U.S. thinks it’s around 28 billion, and the Chinese think it’s 213 billion, although other foreign estimates put the number at around 100 billion. To put that in perspective, Kuwait has...

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Invasion! Part 1: Between Alcatraz and the Falklands

Note: this is the first of a series of posts that I wrote back in June, and then shelved. In light of recent developments, including the scheduled exercises near the Nansei Islands and the sailing of Taiwanese activists to the Senkaku islands, I’ve decided to post them anyway. This series is not meant to illustrate...

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It’s official: Japan is getting Marines

It’s really happening: Japan is getting Marines. Corey Wallace at Sigma1 summarizes from a Asahi article that hasn’t made it into English yet. According to an Asahi Shimbun article here (jp), the MoD plan to convert a GSDF infantry regiment into a US-style amphibious unit is proceeding. Given the rapid modernization of Chinese defense forces,...

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Thoughts on a Japanese Marine Corps, #3: The MSDF

Thoughts on a Japanese Marine Corps, #3: The MSDF

In a lot of ways, the Maritime Self Defense Force is already well equipped to carry a Japanese amphibious force. The MSDF amphibious forces order of battle currently looks like this: 3 Osumi-class Landing Ship, Tank ships 4 LCUs (Landing Craft, Utility) 12 LCMs (Landing Craft, Medium) 6 LCACs (Landing Craft, Air Cushion) This gives...

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Thoughts on a Japanese Marine Corps, #2: what would it look like?

Japan has a long association with marine infantry, going back to before World War II. In fact, Japan pretty much invented modern amphibious warfare, innovating shallow-draft landing craft capable of dropping bow ramps and disgorging infantry onto a beachhead. Japan had both Army and Navy marine infantry (one of many examples of the inefficiency caused...

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Thoughts on a Japanese Marine Corps, #1: do Japanese marines need naval aviation?

For some time now, this blog was of the opinion that Japan would likely skip the F-35 fighter due to availability and cost: the F-35 won’t be deliverable to Japan until 2020 at the earliest, and for the projected cost, Japan could probably find other alternatives. (More on that later this week.) That, however, was...

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Report: new call for Japanese Marine Corps

Buried deep in an article by China’s Global Times is a single, curious line about the soon-to-be released defense report. The article quotes DPJ Parliamentary Vice Minister for Defense Akihisa Nagashima, commenting on the report. Nagashima listed five core aspects of the new outline (including) transforming some of the Ground Self Defense Force into marines…(Link)...

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Japan defense panel: reinforce the outer islands

The government panel that was convened last year to study Japan’s defense posture has written its report, and one of the many interesting conclusions it has come to is that the outer islands, scene of so much drama last Spring, need to be defended. Earlier this year, Japanese warships followed Chinese naval flotillas, including submarines,...

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Another 22DDH article surfaces

Defense Aerospace.com, citing an article in Forecast International, says of 22DDH: The superstructure is very similar to that of the Hyuga class with the difference that the 01 deck is extended forward, probably to accommodate a vertical launch silo for air defense missiles. The point defenses of the new ships are more than doubled, with...

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What would the Marines on Okinawa do?

So asked the Asahi Shimbum newspaper. The Asahi got back many answers. The most detailed explanation about what the Marines would do was made by U.S. Ambassador John Roos at a speech he gave in January at Tokyo’s Waseda University. “The Marines in Okinawa would play a similar rapid response role in any armed conflict...

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Japanese lawmaker wants Japanese Marine Corps

I was rather surprised to see this in the feed this morning. Liberal Democratic Party policy chief Shigeru Ishiba (and former Defense Minister under Junichiro Koizumi) has floated the idea that Japan should create its own version of the U.S. Marine Corps. “Isn’t there anything Japan can do at a time when it has made...

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MSDF to rendezvous with U.S. Navy for Pacific Partnership 2010

Pacific Partnership 2010, the U.S. Navy’s annual soft power cruise through the South Pacific and Southeast Asia, is now five years old. Begun in the aftermath of the 2005 Indian Ocean Tsunami, Pacific Partnership annually sends a U.S. Navy vessel loaded with doctors, dentists, veterinarians, and engineers to remote locations to assist local communities on...

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