Yomiuri Shimbun was granted exclusive permission to cover Sasakawa USA’s tabletop exercise on a crisis in the Senkaku Islands. The exercise, which was held at the Lockheed Martin Center for Innovation (“The Lighthouse” in Suffolk, Virginia), gamed four fictitious scenarios involving the islands, with teams representing China, Japan, and the United States. Although war did not break out during the course of the game, valuable lessons were learned by the participants.
“A U.S. team that was very experienced — very senior, and very used to dealing with Japan and Asia — they did not understand the depth of Japanese restrictions and concerns about using the Self Defense Force,” said James Kendall, Fellow for Common Challenges at Sasakawa USA, and director of this event.
The comprehensive article discusses two cases. In the first, a group of 20 armed members of a Japanese right-wing group comes ashore one of the disputed islands and attempts to occupy it. In the second, a Japanese Coast Guard patrol vessel collides with a Chinese government vessel.