Japan Warns China With Largest Military Drills In Decades

Thursday, September 16, 2021 | Tag Cloud Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

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By Stefan J. Bos, Chief International Correspondent

(Worthy News) – ’s army has begun its largest exercises in decades after warning it will defend disputed islands that Tokyo views as Japanese territory.

The Ground Self-Defense Force (GDSF), the ’s official name, started nationwide drills with all units for the first time in nearly 30 years, said Japan’s Kyodo agency.

Around 100,000 personnel, 20,000 vehicles, and 120 aircraft join the exercises. They also involve Japan’s Maritime and Air Self-Defense Forces and a U.S. Army landing ship, Worthy News learned.

The GDSF drills, including transporting necessary supplies and testing communication systems, will be carried out until the end of November.

Japanese Defense Minister Nobuo Kishi said the exercises come amid China’s perceived threats to Japanese interests, such as the disputed Senkaku Islands, known as the Diaoyu Islands in China, in the East China Sea.

“To respond effectively to various situations, including attacks on the islands, it is essential that the necessary forces are deployed quickly and extensively, depending on the situation,” he explained.

ISLANDS TENSIONS

He warned China that the Senkaku Islands were Japanese territory and would be defended as such. The minister stressed that Tokyo would be matching any Chinese threat to the islands in the East China Sea ship for ship and beyond if necessary.

The GSDF last conducted exercises on this scale in 1993 after the Cold supposedly ended.

However, with China’s military might increasing, Japan’s Defense Ministry sought a record-high budget of $55 billion for fiscal 2021 to fund more purchases of costly American stealth fighters.

Its military has already added state-of-the-art F-35 fighter jets and converting warships to aircraft carriers for them. Besides, Japan is building new destroyers, submarines, and missiles.

Japan also wants to expand its capability to counter possible threats in both cyber and outer space to counter China’s advances in this area.

The GSDF says that in an increasingly uncertain environment, it wants to focus on “operational readiness.”
Japan’s military activities come as , the , and formed a military pact to tackle what they, too view as China’s aggression.

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