Targeting the Chinese Communist Party? Japan Explores Deploying Third Outlying Islands Combat Unit in Nagasaki

According to Kyodo News on May 22, the government has started to discuss the third unit to be established in the Japan Land Self-Defense Force’s specialized unit, the Surface Mobile Corps, which will be responsible for recapturing the outlying islands, in the direction of deploying it in Takematsu, Omura City, Nagasaki Prefecture. Although deployment in Hokkaido, where the training environment is perfect, has also been discussed, the government is focusing on cooperation with the two existing units based in Sasebo City, Nagasaki Prefecture, and U.S. forces, including those in Okinawa, in response to Chinese pressure on the Senkaku Islands (known in China as the Diaoyu Islands). The proposal to arrange for the unit to be based at the U.S. Army’s Schwab Barracks (Bannoko, Nago City, Okinawa) has also been exposed, but it is not deployed in Okinawa at this stage.

A number of government-related sources revealed the news on the 22nd. The third unit “Third Surface Mobile Company” (tentative name) is envisaged to be the same size as the first and second company at Aigaura, Sasebo City, with about 600 personnel, and aims to be established in 2024. Including communication and rear support units, the total of about 3,000 people will complete the surface mobile group’s posture.

The Surface Mobile Corps uses Maritime Self-Defense Force transport ships to transport members and amphibious armored vehicles “AAV-7” to carry out activities in the field. If the outlying islands are invaded and occupied, they will be recaptured.