TENSIONS

Japan Activates First Marine Unit Since WWII

Japan on Saturday activated its first marine unit since World War Two as it seeks to boost defense capabilities amid fears of a Chinese invasion. At a ceremony unveiling the Amphibious Rapid Deployment Brigade on the southwest island of Kyushu, vice defense minister Tomohiro Yamamoto said an “increasingly difficult defense and security situation surrounding Japan” had made the marine unit necessary. The new 2,100-strong force is meant to fend off invaders occupying the contested Senkaku/Diaoyu islands in the East China Sea, which both Tokyo and Beijing have claimed as their own. The marine unit marks Tokyo’s latest addition to its marine force as it seeks to deter Beijing from gaining a foothold in the Western Pacific.