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Japan mulls a 'quasi marine force' to cope with China

(People's Daily Online)

14:33, October 16, 2012

Translated by People's Daily Online

Chinese law enforcement vessels have recently cruised in sea areas off the Diaoyu Islands on consecutive days. According to a report on Japan News Network on October 11, in response to frequent arrival of Chinese public service vessels into sea areas close to the Diaoyu Islands, Japanese government was hesitant about establishing a "marine force".

Reportedly, according to the current provisions of the Self-Defense Forces Law, Japan is not permitted to set up the fourth military force. However, Japan's Defense Agency has proactively prepared budget for purchasing equipment of the armed marine force, in an attempt to establish a "quasi-marine force" as if it is playing touch ball.

According to reports, the Japanese Defense Ministry had transferred 2,000 members of Self Defense Forces to establish an "islets defense force" in 2011 to prepare for China's attacks on the Diaoyu Islands conflicts. Since March 2012, some members of Japan's Self Defense Forces began receiving training in the United States and carried out joint exercises with U.S. military. In September 2012, the "islets defense force" again held one-month joint military drill of seizing islands with U.S. military on Tinian Island nearby the territory of Guanhan.

Japanese Defense Minister Satoshi Morimoto said clearly in the reply of Senate held at the beginning of September 2012 that the Self Defense Forces should have the ability of guarding the islets, expressing the intention of forming independent "Japanese Marine Corps."

According to sources, the Japan has planned to buy four AAV-7 amphibious carriers in the 2013 defense budget, to equip the "islets defense forces." The AAV-7 amphibious carriers are currently the main carriers of U.S. Marine Corps and every carrier can delivery 25 soldiers to an island every time.

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