Sunday, December 08, 2019

Japanese island could become an unsinkable US aircraft carrier?

via CNN
But once suitable facilities are constructed, the island could also become a permanent base for Japan's Self Defense Forces as Tokyo looks to strengthen its position along the East China Sea, where it faces competing claims from China over the Japanese-administered Senkaku islands, known as the Diaoyu islands in Chinese.

The "purchase of Mageshima Island is extremely important and serves for strengthening deterrence by the Japan-US alliance as well as Japan's defense capability," Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said in announcing the deal.

Wallace says Mageshima could eventually see operations from US Marine Corps Osprey tilt-rotor aircraft, taking some of the load off current airfields on the main islands and Okinawa.

Just last February, Okinawa residents, in a non-binding referendum, voted overwhelmingly that the US Marine Corps' Futenma Air Station be relocated off the island.

That vote came after incidents of parts falling off US aircraft and landing outside the base, including near schools and numerous flashpoints involving US defense personnel and local residents.

Despite that vote, the Japanese government moved ahead with plans to relocate Futenma operations elsewhere on Okinawa.

Similarly, the government could be expected to push back against any challenges to the Mageshima plan from the nearest island of Tageshima, 8.5 miles (14 kilometers) to its east and from where it is administered.

The title is click bait as is the rationale behind this move.

The reality?

The US Dept of Defense is more interested in the defense of Japan than the Japanese people.


I'm not sure but a few things stand out in my mind.  The Japanese govt want us there.  The Japanese people do not.  Additionally this move is more about a pacifier more than an actual plan to "distribute our forces".  We will still be in range of missile fire from aircraft stationed on the Chinese mainland.

The good news.

We're in the first island chain so all the talk about "penetrating" air power is silliness.  We will not strike targets on the Chinese mainland because we won't want to start WW3 (and trust me, a strike on the mainland would equal a Chinese strike on the continental United States).

The bad news.

Going back to my first point.  The Japanese people aren't our biggest fans.  That seems to be a recurring theme with our forward basing of troops.

Someday we're gonna have to take a good look at that concept.

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