Airdrop over Yokota Air Base. Creative Commons photo, Flckr user Ykanazawa1999.

Japan, in conjunction with the United States, will stage wargames designed to simulate retaking one of the Nansei islands back from an enemy force.

The exercises will be based on the newly compiled defense program for the Nansei Islands, which includes the Okinawa Islands.

The primary location will be the Ground Self-Defense Force’s 4,900-hectare Hijudai maneuver site in Oita Prefecture, according to the sources. An additional exercise will also take place in a drill area around the real Nansei Islands, the sources explained. The island-reclaiming drills will be part of joint exercises with the U.S. military and the U.S. Navy’s 7th Fleet will provide support. (Link)

Japanese forces will simulate both Blue (friendly) and Red (enemy) forces.

And in case there’s any doubt who this exercise is meant to deter:

“We’ll show China that Japan has the will and the capability to defend the Nansei Islands. [The exercises] will serve as a deterrent,” a senior ministry official explained.

Strong political leadership would be a pretty good deterrent, too.

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A contributor and editor at the blog War Is Boring, Kyle Mizokami started Japan Security Watch in 2010 to further understand Japan's defenses and security policy.
Kyle Mizokami has 530 post(s) on Japan Security Watch