Secretary Mattis Confirms that US Will Help Japan Defend Senkaku Islands

Will we one day execute Operation Senkaku Freedom?  According to Secretary Mattis we will if the uninhabited islets are ever occupied by China:

Defense Secretary Jim Mattis walks with Japanese Minister of Defense Tomomi Inada during a pass and review at the Defense Ministry in Tokyo, Saturday, Feb. 4, 2017.

Defense Secretary Jim Mattis chastised China on Saturday for “shredding the trust” of its neighbors, while reaffirming that the United States would defend Japan-administered islands claimed by China if they were ever attacked.

Mattis also praised the current cost-sharing agreement for hosting U.S. bases in Japan as a “model agreement,” despite comments by President Donald Trump during his campaign that Japan and South Korea were not paying enough for hosting U.S. troops.

In 2013, China declared an Air Defense Identification Zone over the uninhabited Senkaku Islands, which lie near Okinawa prefecture and Taiwan.

Japanese and Chinese fighter jets regularly overfly the uninhabited territory. Coast guard and other vessels have shadowed one another in nearby waters.  [Stars & Stripes]

You can read more at the link.

Japan to Develop Land-to-Sea Missiles to Defend Islands from Chinese Threat

You would think the Japanese would have done this long ago considering the territorial threat they are facing from China.  Adding these missile systems will make the Chinese think twice about any military adventurism that will cost them many ships plus it complicates enemy targeting:

Japan has decided to develop and deploy a land-to-sea missile system designed to enhance defense in the East China Sea at the same time it is embroiled in a tense standoff with China over the disputed Senkaku island chain, according to Japanese media reports.

Vehicle-mounted, GPS-guided missiles with a range of about 186 miles will be deployed to major southern islands such as Miyako in Okinawa Prefecture, the Yomiuri Shimbun reported Sunday, citing unnamed sources, which is customary in Japan. The system’s cost will be proposed in the fiscal 2017 defense budget request slated for release in mid-September.

The Ministry of Defense, which would not deny the move to procure the system when reached Monday, aims to deploy the missiles around 2023.  [Stars & Stripes]

You can read more at the link.