As tensions with China over disputed islands continue to rise, Japan plans to build its own marine corps of 3,000 men:
In detailing some of the specifics Sunday, Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera said the new force is expected to include units specializing in handling types of equipment currently unfamiliar to Japanese troops, such as amphibious vehicles and the V-22 Osprey tilt-rotor aircraft.
He said the new unit will likely be based on the southern island of Kyushu or in the Nansei Islands, which include Okinawa, considering its island mission. He added that Tokyo plans to negotiate with local governments to find a host community.
In discussing the need to Japanese protect islands, Mr. Onodera didn’t mention China or Japan’s territorial dispute with Beijing over small islands in the East China Sea.
“Our nation has numerous remote islands and islands of various sizes, and they give us the basis for our exclusive economic zone that ranks sixth in the world,” Mr. Onodera told troops during a tour of Kyushu on Sunday. “That makes it important to provide defense for islands over the coming years.”