Japan’s Self-Defense Forces conducted a live-fire drill in the scenario for defending remote islands on Saturday in a scenario to prevent Chinese troops from landing on these territories. The annual firepower exercise at the East Fuji training area in Shizuoka Prefecture comes as Japan has been increasingly vigilant over China’s maritime assertiveness in the East China Sea where Beijing claims the Japanese-administered Senkaku Islands, reported the japan times.
Japan is stepping up its capabilities to protect the Nansei Islands, a chain stretching southwest toward Taiwan and covering Okinawa and the Senkakus, uninhabited isles which China calls the Diaoyu. The two-hour drill mobilized some 3,100 troops, 45 tanks and armored vehicles, and 54 pieces of artillery, using 43 tons of live ammunition worth Yen 780 million. Combat helicopters also joined the training, reported the japan times.
The event was live-streamed on YouTube as the GSDF refrained from allowing the public to see it on site for the second straight year due to the coronavirus pandemic. The drill is normally held in late August but was brought forward due to the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics.
INFORMATION ABOUT NANSEI ISLANDS
The Ryukyu Islands, also known as the Nansei Islands or the Ryukyu Arc, are a chain of Japanese islands that stretch southwest from Kyushu to Taiwan: the Ōsumi, Tokara, Amami, Okinawa, and Sakishima Islands, with Yonaguni the westernmost. The larger are mostly high islands and the smaller mostly coral.