The Japanese version of the Marine Corps made headlines, and the Japanese media defended: Unlike the U.S. military, it will not be sent to other countries.

Land Self-Defense Force and U.S. Marine Corps conduct amphibious exercises in Okinawa County in February 2020

The Japan Times reported on the 28th that this week, the details of a secret agreement signed with the United States were exposed, the “Surface Mobile Regiment” known as the Japanese version of the Marine Corps, which involved the U.S. military Schwab in Benoko, Okinawa Prefecture, was exposed. The military camp is stationed in the “Surface Mobile Regiment”.

The article said that Tokyo strongly denied the news, but this accusation and the so-called “China’s growing maritime confidence” made the “Surface Mobile Corps” the focus of attention.

The force will be the “first responder” in any future conflict surrounding the outer islands of Japan.

The report pointed out that the “Surface Mobile Corps” was established in March 2018 and belongs to the Land Self-Defense Force.

It was established to respond to a completely new security situation that requires faster mobilization of naval, land and air forces throughout the country.

When the unit was established, it had 2,100 personnel, including the General Section Company (Sipu Company) of Western Japan, which was established in 2002 to specialize in amphibious operations.

According to the report, the headquarters of the “Surface Mobile Corps” is located in the Aura garrison near Sasebo in Nagasaki Prefecture, where there are U.S. military bases.

Some of the unit is also currently stationed in the Sakibe battalion in Nagasaki Prefecture and two other camps in Ōita Prefecture (Kusatsu and Tobuyuan).

So should the “Surface Mobile Regiment” be the Japanese version of the Marine Corps? Japanese media said that the “Surface Mobile Corps” and the United States Marine Corps have some similarities in their respective operational roles.

According to the outline of the Ministry of Defense in 2013, the goal of the Surface Mobile Corps is to “land, retake and defend any remote island that may be invaded.

They will be the first to land such an island, and the regular land self-defense force, maritime self-defense force and air self-defense force will then arrive.”

This is the same as some of the core responsibilities performed by the U.S. Marine Corps.

However, unlike the U.S. Marine Corps, Japan’s “Surface Mobile Corps” is not an expeditionary force.

The Japanese government may send it to other countries for humanitarian relief, but it will not be used for offensive purposes.

More importantly, the U.S. Marine Corps can use its assets to operate in the three aspects of land, sea and air, and the “Surface Mobile Corps” must work closely with the Maritime Self-Defense Force and the Air Self-Defense Force in order to play a role in these three areas.