On September 16, 2020, as part of the YCAPS/JUMP webinar series, Japanese Ground Self Defense Force (JGSDF) Major General (Ret.) Nozomu Yoshitomi discussed his article titled “Shore-to-Shore Amphibious Assault,” that was recently published in the U.S. Naval Institute Proceedings. General Yoshitomi served 32 years in the JGSDF in a variety of roles, to include: Artillery officer, researcher, and intelligence analyst. During the course of his career, he also served as an instructor at the School of Defense Sciences at the National Defense Academy of Japan. Among his many academic achievements is a doctorate degree from Takushoku University.
General Yoshitomi discussed his theories regarding the defense of the Senkaku Islands and First Island Chain in the age of anti-access/area denial (A2/AD) challenges. General Yoshitomi explained the challenges of geography, both for defenders and invaders. Specifically, coral reefs that dominate the area complicate the employment of large naval and amphibious assets. He then expounded upon the role to be played by the JMSDF Amphibious Rapid Deployment Brigade (ARDB) and the critical need for small, nimble, military watercraft for the rapid deployment, redeployment, and medical evacuation of amphibious troops. General Yoshitomi cautioned about the importance of preparation, to include increasing infrastructure command-and-control capacity and staging supplies and materiel in the archipelago. General Yoshitomi also opined that any amphibious invasion would likely be preceded by a cyberattack. After the presentation, General Yoshitomi answered questions regarding the specifics of the Shore-to-Shore Amphibious Assault defensive philosophy and the challenges to its implementation.