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US Army’s Pacific Commander Shows Intent To Maintain Rocket Launchers At Frontline Japanese Base

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The U.S. Army’s Pacific commander, General Charles Flynn, said he will not withdraw rocket launchers and other equipment from a Japanese army base at the edge of the East China Sea just so soon after the joint training they were used in completed.

He was on a visit to Japan’s Ground Self Defense Force base on Amami Oshima which is part of an island chain stretching toward Taiwan. During the visit he confirmed that they are going to leave some of the equipment there. “It’s an opportunity for us to keep capabilities forward,” he added.

Japan prepares for possible attacks from China

For the records, two more joint training exercises are scheduled for this year which suggest that the equipment could remain in Amami Oshima for longer time. It includes two High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems (HIMARS) that can fire projectiles up to 500 km (310 miles), and that Washington has also given Ukraine to help it fight Russia.

Training exercises similar to the one that just concluded might be a good excuse for Washington to continue to deploy its forces in East Asia, even if for the time being, as the tensions with China over Taiwan grow.

Japan’s Amami base camp is one of the many new bases it is building on its southwest islands for the purpose of deploying its anti-ship and anti-aircraft missile units. The missile units are believed to deter any attack from neighbouring China.  Flynn’s visit to Amami with General Yoshihide Yoshida, the Japanese army’s chief of staff, comes at a time when Japan is strengthening its military against what seems to be a growing threat from China and Russia due to the ongoing Russian attack on Ukraine.

In August Japan revealing a plan to deploy longer range missiles as a strategy for increasing substantial defence spending. This will also help equip the country with monetary resources for joint drills with US forces.

At a media roundtable on Friday in Tokyo, Flynn stated that “increasing the magnitude, the complexity, the size, and the duration of the training that our forces must undergo together is probably a worthy investment from both the U.S. and Japanese forces.”

Increasing Japan’s ammunition stockpiles, according to military experts, is another critical priority.

Sustainment, according to Flynn, is a crucial military task because of the extended conflict you are witnessing in Europe. Everyone should take a look at their stocks and locations, he continued.

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