Remote island to be “retaken’ in joint U.S. – Japanese drill
A joint exercise between Japanese Self Defense Forces and American troops is slated for next month as a drill to practice “retaking” an uninhabited island from foreign forces.
Bilateral sources say that while the exercise hasn’t been designed with a specific location in place, it could easily be compared to a potential scenario of a remote Japanese island influenced by troubles on the Senkaku Islands. Sources hint that the timing of the exercise could be kept unannounced due to concerns about Chinese anger over the drill, since China is maintaining it has the sovereignty rights to the Senkaku Islands, not Japan.
The joint bilateral exercise between Japan and the United States is slated for November 5th ~ 16th, and it’s believed the uninhabited island drill will be accomplished in the latter stages of that exercise. Primary participants in the drill would be from the III Marine Expeditionary Force based in Okinawa, and Ground Self Defense Force units from the Western Army stationed in Sasebo, in Nagasaki Prefecture. The Western Army has responsibility for defending remote islands in Okinawa Prefecture.
The drill, according to sources, will involve both Japanese and American troops using boats and helicopters to land on an island “occupied by foreign forces” and then retake it. The exercise will most likely take place on tiny Irisuna Island, a part of Tonaki Village in Okinawa Prefecture. Irisuna Island is located 60 kilometers west of Okinawa’s main island.