The Japan News by The Yomiuri Shimbun

MSDF, JCG to hold drill simulating armed attack on Senkaku Isles


The Maritime Self-Defense Force and the Japan Coast Guard plan to conduct a joint drill simulating an armed attack on the Senkaku Islands for the rst time, according to government sources. The joint MSDF-JCG exercise will be conducted before the end of the scal year as part of efforts to strengthen cooperatio­n between the services.

Aft er the exercise, the government plans to compile guidelines on procedures and other matters concerning the JCG’s involvemen­t in the event of an armed attack, the sources said.

The exercise is intended to ensure a seamless response between the MSDF and the JCG in waters surroundin­g the Senkaku Islands in Okinawa Prefecture and elsewhere in the event of an emergency.

The government aims to enhance defense capabiliti­es by significan­tly increasing the related budgets of the JCG and Self-Defense Forces. e government also plans to establish a cooperativ­e framework between the services.

The JCG — an external bureau of the Land, Infrastruc­ture, Transport and Tourism Ministry — and the MSDF share surveillan­ce informatio­n, but they have di erent systems of command.

The joint MSDF-JCG training exercises conducted so far have been limited to scenarios that do not involve an armed attack situation, such as maritime patrols in which the SDF is responsibl­e for maintainin­g security.

However, the Liberal Democratic Party and others have stressed the need to conduct realistic drills in anticipati­on of an emergency.

According to the sources, the upcoming drill will involve the mobilizati­on of an MSDF destroyer assuming an attack such as a missile launch by an enemy vessel during a separate stand-o between a JCG patrol vessel and a law enforcemen­t unit of an enemy country.

The JCG is likely to provide logistical support in the event of an emergency, transporti­ng evacuees and ensuring the safety of shing boats and other civilian vessels.

Article 80 of the Self-Defense Forces Law states that the prime minister can bring the JCG under the control of the defense minister if the SDF is mobilized in the event of an armed attack. However, guidelines for such scenarios have yet to be formulated.

According to the sources, the government is considerin­g compiling such guidelines amid a situation in which cooperatio­n between the China Coast Guard and the Chinese military has been increasing.

In 2018, the CCG came under the command of the Armed Police Force, an organizati­on under the direct control of the Central Military Commission, the Chinese military’s command organ.

CCG vessels that navigate in waters surroundin­g the Senkakus are backed up by the Chinese Navy.

“It seems they’re taking all possible measures to prepare for a clash,” a senior SDF o cial said. (Nov. 10)

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