On January 28th, 2022, YCAPS hosted Major General Nozomu Yoshitomi and Colonel Chris Goff at our Indo Pacific Maritime Hour ‘A New Era of US-Japan Amphibious Capabilities.’ MG Yoshitomi was a field artillery officer, an intelligence analyst, and a researcher in the Japan Ground Self-Defense Force (JGSDF), while Col. Goff previously served in the US Marine Corps (USMC). Both speakers are seasoned in amphibious operations and have been major contributors to the US-Japan alliance during and beyond their military careers. The webinar was moderated by John Bradford, Executive Director of YCAPS, and joined by around 80 participants, including current and former service members, as well as scholars in the field.
Both speakers started by highlighting the importance of strengthening amphibious capabilities to counter China’s increasing AD/A2 capabilities in the Indo-Pacific. Col. Goff also introduced the USMC’s role during war times and the problems and challenges the Corps faces, whereas MG Yoshitomi stressed the importance of defending Japan’s southwest islands and what the JSDF can do to deal with the challenges in the region. Both speakers agree that mobility and flexibility will be at the heart of future amphibious operations, and that there are many opportunities for US-Japan cooperation in this field. During the follow up Q&A section, the two speakers discussed the types of bases to establish, joint and combined warfare within the alliance, and actions to take in order to enhance the services’ training and readiness.
Closing up, Col. Goff emphasized the continuation of bilateral talks and exercises between the US and Japan, MG Yoshitomi mentioned the importance of protecting civilians in times of war, and Director Bradford concluded by discussing the best case scenario where conflicts are deterred and fighting is avoided.