If China grabs Senkakus, U.S. military would snatch them back: top marine commander

Kyodo

If China invaded the Japan-held Senkaku Islands, U.S. Marines in the Pacific would swiftly recapture them, the commander of marines deployed in Japan assured.

“It’s a very, very small collection of small islands,” the U.S. military newspaper Stars and Stripes quoted Lt. Gen. John Wissler as saying Friday at a breakfast with defense reporters in Washington.

“You wouldn’t maybe even necessarily have to put somebody on that island until you had eliminated the threat, so to speak. And that’s where that whole integration of our full capabilities as a Navy-Marine Corps team would be of value,” Wissler said.

The Senkakus, known as Diaoyu in China, which contests their sovereignty, fall under Japan’s jurisdiction in the East China Sea. China has repeatedly sent ships into Japanese territorial waters near the islets to assert its territorial claim.

On Tuesday in Beijing, U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel told his Chinese counterpart, Chang Wanquan, that the Japan-U.S. security treaty applies to the Senkakus.

  • Yoshio Shimoji

    Does he mean the U.S. Marines don’t have to station in Okinawa?

    • he tienyi

      He means the 1950′s China.

    • Desk Pilot

      No, that would be an extreme exaggeration. The Marines wouldn’t be able to do what he is saying without being able to base out of Okinawa.

  • Conrad Brean

    “You wouldn’t maybe even necessarily have to put somebody on that island
    until you had eliminated the threat, so to speak. And that’s where that
    whole integration of our full capabilities as a Navy-Marine Corps team
    would be of value,” Wissler said.

    And so exactly what does that mean?

    • dRu

      I took it to mean they likely wouldn’t have to land any troops on the islands at all. I’d assume that means a largely naval engagement.