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HOME  > Past issues  > 2016 January 20 - 26  > Sasebo most likely to become sortie base for Japanese version of marines
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2016 January 20 - 26 [SDF]

Sasebo most likely to become sortie base for Japanese version of marines

January 20, 2016
The plan to construct a “sortie stronghold” for an amphibious mobile regiment of the Self-Defense Forces, dubbed a Japanese version of the U.S. Marine Corps, has been underway on the coast of Sasebo City in Nagasaki Prefecture.

Japanese Communist Party member of the House of Councilors Nihi Sohei at a House Budget Committee meeting held on January 19 argued that this is a major embodiment of the security-related legislation and demanded that the controversial laws be repealed.

He said that the construction project for an SDF garrison for amphibious units and for another SDF base equipped with a pier for the mooring of helicopter carriers has already been going on in the Sakibe district of the Sasebo Port area where the U.S. Navy and the Maritime SDF have their bases.

“Are you planning to make a joint army-navy stronghold for rapid deployment like the U.S. Marine Corps.?” asked the JCP legislator.

Defense Minister Nakatani Gen said in reply that it is necessary for Japan to have a base capable of dealing with amphibious operations “so as to be ready for possible attacks on remote islands”.

Nihi pointed out that the ongoing project is to make a staging point for not only the defense of remote islands but also the use of force abroad together with U.S. troops.

* * *

Koda Yoji, former MSDF chief of staff, in response to a question in the Diet two years ago, admitted that even talking about amphibious operation capabilities “has long been taboo until just a decade ago” because they would lead to overseas dispatches of the SDF.

However, Kawano Katsutoshi, chief of staff of the Joint Staff Council, during his visit to Washington in late 2014, indicated to U.S. Marine Corp General Joseph Dunford Tokyo’s willingness to create an amphibious mobile regiment.

Past related articles:
> SDF top to Washington: War bills will be enacted by this summer [September 3, 2015]
> Amphibious mobile regiment will be created in Sasebo [March 26, 2014]
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