Tokyo: Japan has activated its ‘Marine Force’ for the first time, since the World War II to be able to aggressively tackle the increasing tensions with China over the ‘South China Sea’ issue. ‘Amphibious Rapid Deployment Brigade’ (ARDB) was activated at the ‘Sasebo’ military base on Saturday. The ARDB has been built on the lines of the special unit, the ‘US Marines’ of the United States and will be in action in case of attack on any of the Japanese islands.
After the World War II, the United States had imposed strict restrictions on Japan and ensured that it never emerged as a military power. Japan who suffered the nuclear holocaust, also had kept its defence policy on the defensive lines. But in view of the increasing Chinese threats, Japan has made aggressive changes to its defence policy. Over the past few years, Japan has taken steps to further strengthen its defence forces and has also made a substantial increase in its defence budget.
Concerns are being expressed within the Japanese political circles about the North Korean nuclear tests and the increasing intrusion by the Chinese fighter jets and warships. Although the United States has accepted responsibility of Japan’s security, Japan has become restless because of the Chinese aggression and is taking rapid steps in that direction. Purchase of advanced fighter jets from the United States, deployment of missile defence systems, changes to the structure of the military command, indications of a new ‘Helicopter Carrier’ and changes to the constitution to counter the Chinese threat, are clear indications of the changes in the Japanese policies.
‘The situation in areas around Japan is becoming increasingly sensitive from the point of view of defence and security. Therefore, the security of the Japanese islands becomes a very important matter’, Japanese Vice Defence Minister Tomohiro Yamamoto endorsed the building of the ARDB with these words. A senior defence official also claimed that this sends a message to the international community that Japan was prepared to defend the islands in its territory.
There will be more than 3000 soldiers in the ‘Amphibious Rapid Deployment Brigade’. The provision of ‘Helicopter Carrier’ warships, ‘Amphibious Ships’, ‘Amphibious Assault Vehicles’ and 17 ‘Osprey Aircrafts’ have been made for this ‘Brigade’. This new unit is an open declaration of the aggressive Japanese military policy and it is believed to be a stern warning for the countries like China and North Korea.