US military exercise on the Japanese island of Okinawa 2021: 18,000 US soldiers are stationed in Japan, most on Okinawa
Photo: via www.imago-images.de / imago images/Kyodo News
Against the backdrop of Japan's historic shift in security policy, the US plans to reorganize its naval forces in Japan's Okinawa Islands.
As US media unanimously report, the US and Japan want to announce their plans to restructure the US Marine Corps this week.
Accordingly, the soldiers stationed there should be able to fight on remote islands by 2025.
They are to be specially equipped for this, for example with anti-ship missiles that could be fired in the event of a Chinese attack on Taiwan.
For this purpose, they are to be distributed along the coasts in troops of around 2,000 soldiers, reports the Reuters news agency.
Japan doubles its defense spending
Japan is currently planning to massively increase its defense spending.
The defense budget is to amount to two percent of the country's economic output instead of the previous one percent.
The change of course comes amid what the Tokyo government describes as the "serious and most complicated" security environment since World War II.
According to a recently adopted security paper, China's military presence in the region represents "the greatest strategic challenge" in history.
Japan's protecting power, the USA, formulates it in a similar way.
Last week, the Japanese business newspaper Nikkei Asia reported that Japan is considering establishing dozens of ammunition and weapons depots on its islands off the Chinese coast in preparation for a possible military conflict.
Japan is the United States' most important strategic partner in the Indo-Pacific.
Since World War II, 18,000 US Marines have been stationed in Japan, most of them on the Okinawa Islands.
The US military presence on Okinawa, which began during World War II, includes most of the 18,000 US Marines stationed in Japan.
Beijing sees Taiwan as part of the People's Republic, while Taiwan considers itself independent.
Most recently, the Chinese military in particular had repeatedly provoked in the region.
Tokyo fears that a Chinese takeover of Taiwan could threaten sea lanes that supply the country with oil.