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Will Japan become more dependent on US after Abe? Spend billions of dollars to buy islands, Japan to pave the way for the US military

by Nares Lapoiya 2 months ago in opinion
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Will Japan become more dependent on US after Abe? Spend billions of dollars to buy islands, Japan to pave the way for the US military

Recently, Japan's Kagoshima Prefecture launched an investigation into plans to build a self-defense Force base and a US military training base on Mamao Island.

Mamao Island is the second largest uninhabited island in Japan. It is located in Nishinoomi City, Kagoshima Prefecture, and covers an area of about 8 square kilometers. The Japanese government paid 16 billion yen to buy the islands from a private company.

Currently, seven environmental impact assessment experts are going to Mamao Island to carry out the relevant assessment, and the construction of two short and long runways is scheduled to be completed within four years after the completion of the environmental assessment.

So why did Japan and the United States build a military base here?

As early as early this year, the "2+2" talks between the FOREIGN and defense ministers of the US and Japan revealed that Japan plans to build a base on Mamao Island and lay an airstrip on the island, which will serve as flight training for the US forces, especially for the simulated take-off and landing of aircraft carriers.

Notably, the island will also serve as a base for Japan's Self-Defense Forces.

This would allow the US and Japan to train at the same base in what is known as "integration". Some experts said the construction of the military base on Mamao Island will further strengthen the japan-US alliance.

To this end, the Japanese Defense Ministry has also spent a lot of money, has budgeted more than 300 billion yen next year to carry out facilities.

On the other hand, Japan also has its own small plan, choosing to build a Self-Defense Force base in Mamao Island, which can also strengthen the strategic deployment in southwest Japan.

In fact, it is not the first time for Japan to strengthen its defense of the Nansei Islands.

As early as 2015, Japan expanded its SDF staffing at Naha base, replacing f-15J fighters with P-3C anti-submarine patrol aircraft and E-2C early warning aircraft for its air Self-Defense Force.

In addition, it is not uncommon for Japan's Self-Defense Forces to conduct exercises on the Nansei Islands to test and improve their combat capabilities.

It is analyzed that there are multiple strategic considerations behind Japan's intensive military deployment in the Nansei Islands.

First, we need to strengthen our capacity to deal with the situation. As a country surrounded by the sea, Japan attaches great importance to improving its island warfare capabilities. However, the southwest has always been a weak area for Japan. If a conflict broke out in the southwest, Japan would need to maneuver its military forces from the home islands a long distance. It is questionable whether Japan can provide timely support, not to say the cost of time and energy investment.

In recent years, Japan has been strengthening its defense deployment on Nansei Zhudao. One of the important reasons is to relieve the pressure of long-distance maneuvering operations by maintaining a static military presence in peacetime.

The second is to help the US deploy in the Asia-Pacific. The special geographical position of The Southwest Islands of Japan determines its important position and role in the overall strategic layout of the American army. Japan is also paving the way for the US military to strengthen its defense deployment on Nansei Zhudao.

Finally, it opens up an "experimental field" for the Japanese Self-Defense Forces to carry out military operations. This is undoubtedly the next step for Japan to do overseas foreshadowing.

Mamao Island is 500 kilometers away from Futenma Airport, 400 kilometers away from Iwakuni Base, and 2,300 kilometers away from Guam Base. The Osumi Strait is a key maritime route connecting the Pacific Ocean and the East Sea, making it a natural choice for Japan to build a military base.

Japanese media even revealed that if necessary, the training base on Mamao Island can be turned into a combat departure base for fighter jets at any time.

However, local people are strongly opposed to the Japanese government's plan to build a military base on Mamao Island, with many residents expressing concerns about noise, environmental problems and security issues brought by the US military base.

The Japanese government, however, is pushing ahead with plans to build the base.

It has to be said that Japan, as the country that launched the war of aggression in the Second World War and brought untold disasters to Asian countries, has not reflected on itself, but has gone further and further on the road of military expansion and war preparation.

Experts say that Abe's death has deprived Japan of a politician with strategic ambitions, and that Japan may lose its direction for a while. Due to the increasing right-wing conservative tendency, Japan, which is on the decline but cannot escape the shadow of "defeat", has to rely more on the United States, which will bring greater uncertainty to the Asia-Pacific and the whole world.


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Nares Lapoiya

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