By Theodore Shoebat
American Marines have recently trained Japanese soldiers to help prepare them against China. In Camp Pendleton, CA, right in the United States, Japanese soldiers of Japan’s Western Army Infantry Regiment practiced with US marines on how to retake and invade an island. It is an annual training session called Iron Fist.
Although it is not unusual for American troops to be conducting training exercises with Japanese soldiers, this year’s Iron Fist was done for a different and more worrisome purpose. As John O’Neal, commander of the 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit, said, the Japanese team arrived to training with “a new sense of purpose.”
He continued on to say:
There are certainly current events that have added emphasis to this exercise …Is there a heightened awareness? Yes.
What current events is he speaking of? China and Japan are currently disputing over the Senkaku islands, and tensions over this body of isles is escalating. Although American military officials are saying that the training sessions have absolutely nothing to do with the Senkaku islands controversy, in which the Japanese and Chinese are contending over a series of small islands on the East China Sea.
The Americans are training Japanese soldiers who now have “a new sense of purpose”, during the contention over the Senkaku islands between China and Japan, about which the US is quite concerned, and around the same time as the Chinese have been training for a “short, sharp” war with Japan.
And as Christopher K. Johnson, senior adviser at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, has said:
The Japanese have been getting more serious about broadening their training … the Chinese are doing their own exercises that look a lot like island-grabbing.
This training session cannot be just coincidence, and obviously, is connected to the Senkaku islands controversy.
In 2006, the year in which this training program was commenced, the Japanese sent only 25 soldiers, but this year they sent 250 strong. They also brought Humvees, gear and paraphernalia designed for the purpose of retaking islands, or in military terminology, “amphibious assault with the intent to seize objectives inland.”
This year’s Iron Fist, according to Colonel O’Neal, was the largest, most energetic, and most involved one that has ever been conducted. Moreover, the training session consisted of drones and the types of air support necessary to protect American and Japanese troops in the retaking of an island.
Last month, just off the waters of Coronado, Japanese soldiers jumped off a hovering helicopter into the sea with rubber reconnaissance boats, being a part of “helo training,” an essential part of Marine Corps training with an emphasis on quick and light movements into enemy territory. This is not the type of exercise Japanese soldiers have done routinely in the past.
Just recently, Shinzo Abe, the Prime Minister of Japan, approved of a 5-year defense plan, which has shifted Japan into its most militarily assertive state since WW2.
Last month, Shinzo Abe likened the tension between China and Japan to the tension between England and Germany before they warred against each other in WW1. Both England and Germany were successful economically, and both were major trading partners, but war erupted between the two nonetheless. Abe likened this past situation to what is currently happening between China and Japan. He said:
This year marks the centenary of World War I. Britain and Germany were highly (inter)dependent economically. They were the largest trade partners (to each other), but the war did break out.
Japan has been doing a very good job at playing a game of tattle-tale with America. When China disputes over a series of islands that belong to it, Japan plays victim to America, and protests against a militarily powerful China. America of course is taking the side of Japan, its most significant ally in Asia, against China, and as I have said in my recent article on Japan, it is not adventuresome to say that America will help Japan in their aspiration to revive their imperialist government, in order to go against China, just as they have been aiding the jihadists in Syria to go against Iran.