The Japanese Ground Self-Defense Force (GSDF) conducted a landing exercise on San Clemente Island, California on Saturday. Together with elements of the U.S. Marine Corps, the Japanese troops trained on specific exercises, especially ones simulating the process of recapturing an island occupied by an opposing force.
The main exercise was conducted by some 280 GSDF troops that come from a unit in Sasebo, Nagasaki Prefecture, in southwestern Japan. They were accompanied by troops of the I Marine Expeditionary Force based at Camp Pendleton in California. The training conducted involved some 100 GSDF troops, transported from CH-53 helicopters coming off the amphibious assault ship USS Boxer. They then landed on the northwestern part of San Clemente Island and then moved southward in two groups.
Although this training was held just off the coast of the U.S. mainland, there is little doubt that the Japanese troops were in preparation for any kind of similar situation in the ongoing territorial dispute with China regarding the Senkaku group of islands. Japanese preparation and readiness for such situations seems like a canny bit of foresight, especially from the Japanese GSDF. It can be remembered that even before the territorial dispute was reignited in September 12, 2012, the GSDF and the Japanese Coast Guard were already doing drills and preparations on the context of the dispute in China.[ via Jiji Press ]