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Operations, Equipment And Training Of The Infantry Division For The 
Anti-Landing And Amphibious Invasion
CSC 1985
                            The Writing Program
                         Command and Staff College
                      Lieutenant Colonel T. Kobayakawa
                        Japan Ground Self-Defense Force
                                  April 1985
    Japan established the new constitution in 1946,
after World War II.  Within the framework of this
constitution, Japan has gradually maintained and built
up the National defense forces necessary to defend our
country as an independent nation.1  However, there have
been two different interpretations of the constitution
as to the possession of the defense forces.  One group
has insisted that Japan should have the forces to defend
our country and the other is opposed to it.
    This lack of national concensus forms a great
obstacle to promote the defense policy.  The typical
examples to show this situation can be seen in the
defense spending which is limited to 1 percent of GNP
ratio by the cabinet policy.2  As to the strength of
Japan Ground Self Defense Forces (JGSDF), the numbers of
divisions are 13, and the authorized personnel strengths
are 180,000,3 and also, the pace of modernization has
been very slow.
    Japan is an island nation so feasible forms of
invasion that we will face are the land and amphibious
operations.  As I mentioned, there are many restrictions
to our defense, and there is a firm, hard policy on the
defense.  I would like to take a look at one aspect of
it on the free basis.
    I'm going to discuss the following:
        - Defense environments.
        - Defense policies against landing and amphib-
          ious invasion, and the best policy to be
        - Capabilities necessary to conduct the anti-
          landing and amphibious operation.
        - Equipments to be prepared.
        - Necessary training of the division to be
          engaged in the operation.
                   Defense Environment
    Geographic Character.  The island of Japan runs from
north to south about 3,000 km and 200 km from east to
west, and is located in the far east area.  It is
divided into four main islands.  Flat land occupies 30%
of the area which mostly faces the sea.4  Most
industries with dense population are concentrated into
these areas.  Accordingly, there are the following
characteristics:  Long coastal lines with proper areas
suitable for enemy amphibious operations makes the
defensive area vast; long stretching territories on the
four separated islands make the concentration of forces
difficult in the case of invasion; and flat lands in the
coastal regions are the centers of economy, politics,
and industry, which are likely objective areas for the
    Economy of Japan.  The natural resources in Japan
are insufficient; rather, Japan depends on the resources
from foreign countries.  Blockade of imports would have
an adverse affect on Japan's economy.  For this reason,
it is very hard for Japan to conduct protracted
    People of Japan.  Japan is now in the era of elec-
tronics and intelligence.  Various kinds of information
are processed and transferred in a moment.  Therefore,
the outcome of the first battle in the anti-landing and
amphibious operation will affect seriously the minds of
the people of Japan.  Additionally, the patience of the
Japanese is getting shorter compared to that of World
War II because we have enjoyed a higher level of living
materially.  Lack of resources would lead the people
into hardships.
    Defense Policy of Japan.  In addition to the
political restrictions mentioned before, laws also
impose many restrictions on such defense preparation
activities which are essential to defend the country as
establishment of defensive positions and construction of
obstacles in peacetime or appropriate time.5  This
defense setting will bring many difficulties in
conducting defense operations against the possible
landing and amphibious invasion.
            General Concepts of Anti-Landing
                and Amphibious Operation
    Taking the above mentioned into consideration, the
following four concepts of operation have emerged:
        - Attack the enemy's rear areas or ports.
        - Reduce his combat power in the air and on sea.
        - Destroy him on the shore or in the coastal
        - Destroy him in the inland area.
  The Best Policy to be Adopted - Concept of Operation
    Although the best course of action that we should
adopt for the anti-landing and amphibious operaions in
the future is to be selected from one of the four
concepts mentioned above.  Before the selection, we must
set some assumptions:
        - The Defense environment is not to be changed.
        - The invading forces launch a surprise air
attack and gain air superiority and control of the sea
in short periods of time and are capable of
concentrating his forces necessary to achieve the goals
of invasion at any time and at any place from the air
and sea.
    These forces are all armored and motorized, have
super firepower, and can conduct airborne helicop-
terborne operations, and have electronic warfare
        - The JGSDF expects to have little support from
the JMSDF and the JASDF.
    Taking these assumptions into mind, the best concept
of operation against such kind of invasion is "To attack
enemy bases and prevent our land from being a battle-
field."  This concept is hard to adopt, because the
basic policy of Japan is to exclusively defend the
country, never permit the attack of the enemy beyond our
territory of land, sea and air space.7
    "Destroying the enemy inland" means that we can take
advantage of mountainous terrain which limits the
enemy's mobility, and which blocks the superior enemy
with small forces.  We concentrate our forces and
commence counterattacks.  This is the practicable
concept of the JGSDF.  However, the largest deficiency
of this concept is to abandon the important densely
populated and industrialized areas too early.
    Consequently, we will have to fight for a longer
period of time under unfavorable conditions without
logistical support bases.
    I think this concept is unfit to defend our country
against invasion, especially when the enemy limits the
objective of the invasion to occupy the key areas in a
short period of time and tries to settle the war by
occupying the areas.
    Therefore, the best policy that we should adopt is
"Destroy the enemy on the sea and/or on the shore, or in
the coastal region."
    Capabilities Necessary to Conduct the Anti-Landing
and Amphibious Operation
    When we want to kill the enemy on the sea, the Air
Self-Defense Force and the Maritime Self-Defense Force
powers are prerequisite factors.  But, now, I would like
to discuss only the capabilities necessary to accomplish
its role as Ground Self-Defense Forces.
    If the enemy invaded our country, they would use
three kinds of operations, such as "ship-to-shore,"
"shore-to-shore," and "port-to-port."8  I think the most
probable type of landing ashore is the shore-to-shore or
ship-to-shore operation.  Therefore, we have to use
surface-to-ship missiles (SSMs) which can be fired from
the ground.  In that case, we cannot destroy all the
ships and amphibious assault vehicles.  So, mainly, the
firing of SSMs must be concentrated on specific ships,
such as control ships (CCS, PCS, SCS),9 sometimes naval
battle ships, and amphibious assault vehicles.
    The effective range of this missile is at least 20
kms from the shore.10  Moreover, we must be ready for
enemy electronic warfare and also, we must endure the
massive enemy air attacks and use naval gunfire on
targets taking advantage of the enemy's vulnerabilities.
Therefore, in order to do that, all systems must be
    Next, I'm going to discuss the necessary capability
to destroy the enemy on the shore or coastal area.  The
enemy's vulnerability that we have to take advantage of
will be exposed to us on or after landing.
    At this moment, enemy combat power is separated into
two halves on the shore, the rest of them on the sea.
Now, also enemy forces are converging on and around the
shore.  So exertion of their combat power is restricted
to the minimum extent.
    The necessary capability to destroy the enemy at
this time is massed firepower capable of firing from a
longer range--a stand-off from enemy naval gunfire and
air attack.  In other words, this fire system must have
destructive firepower with a longer range and impact on
the targeted areas against the enemy armor forces.  It
is necessary to kill those tanks by antitank, precision
guided munitions fired from indirect long-range weapons.
Fortunately, today's firepower of field artillery is
going to be able to destroy armored vehicles and landing
craft and is going to be able to construct obstacles.12
    Another necessary capability is that all our troops
must be armored to hold the freedom of maneuverability
under overwhelming enemy firepower.
    There are 13 divisions in the Japan Ground
Self-Defense Forces and one of them is the armor
division.  In order to pursue my policy of recommending
the anti-landing and amphibious operation, armored
troops are required; infantry, antitank, artillery, and
engineer should be armored.
    Air Defense Capability.  The air defense is
necessary to make our firepower and moibility effective
under enemy air superiority.  It must provide an air
defense umbrella for the division deployed forward,
especially to protect such positions as SSMs, artillery
and antitank, and cover the infantry troops engaging the
counterattack, as well as the logistical area.13  If we
have sufficient means of air defense, we can cope with
the enemy airborne and the helicopterborne attack
conducted concurrently with the amphibious operation.14
    Prompt Construcing Capability of Obstacles.  It is
impossible for Japan to build sea shore obstacles during
peacetime.  This means that we must set obstacles very
quickly in the coastal area to prevent the enemy from
establishing beachheads, even then we won't have
sufficient time for the preparation.15
    Of course, those obstacles should be integrated with
the fire support means as I mentioned before.
    Information Collecting Capability.  The enemy will
conduct a feint operation to mislead our judgment as to
the location and the date and time of landing.  In order
to defend the areas with limited forces, we must know
exactly and well in advance where and when the enemy's
main attack will be directed.  Therefore, we must get
timely information by using a lot of radar and sensors.
    Electronic Countermeasures.  It is estimated that
the enemy can conduct strong and massive jamming to
impede our conduct of operation.16  We have to have
sound capability to expel this jamming and protect our
command and control system intact and conduct the
operations.  Otherwise, effectiveness of combat power
would be limited to the minimum.  Accordingly, we must
possess both ECM and jamming capabilities to disturb
their communications nets.
    Attack Helicopters.  Attack helicopters (AHs) are
very useful in this situation because of its high
mobility.  If we have many AHs, even though the enemy
made a surprise attack to the unprepared shore, we can
concentrate AH firepower very quickly.  Sometimes, it is
difficult to destroy the enemy's tanks and armored
vehicles under the enemy's air superiority, but we can
expect that one AH can destroy more than one or two
armored vehicles.
    Combat Service Support.  Since many of our weapons
will be destroyed in battle because of massive
firepower, we must prepare for the next battle.
Usually, we need a lot of time to repair at the high
echelon maintenance, but the low echelon maintenance
does not require as much time.  So the Combat Service
Support units of the division should consist of many
small maintenance teams.  Also, the division should be
able to get quickly and sufficiently combat service
support from the higher unit.
    Equipment to be Prepared.  In order to accomplish
the mission of the division deployed defensive area, the
following equipment is required:
        Field Artillery Regiment.  Current 105 Howitzer
Battalion and 155 Battalion should be equipped with 155H
self-propelled and 200 Howitzer or multiple surface-to-
surface rockets.
        Antitank Unit.  106 Recoilless must be replaced
by a medium antitank missile, and a MAT platoon should
be equipped with a longer range antitank missile.
        Infantry Regiment.  At least half of an infantry
company should be armor protected, and also all infantry
companies should have a short-range air defense weapon
like a Stinger.
        Recon Unit.  Equip the radar with ECM
        Signal Battalion.  Organize the ECM company and
equip with necessary items.
        Organize the Rocket Units by the artillery
brigade of the army and reinforce the division deployed
    In order to implement all of these to all the
divisions, it costs much.  But at least the divisions
located in the northern part of Japan, where enemy
invasion is most likely, must possess these
    Necessary Training of the Division to be Engaged in
This Operation.  The divisions have to train its
soldiers and units to accomplish two typical different
types of operations.
    The first necessary training is designed to block
enemy landing and reduce its combat power.  The main
part of this operation is defense.  Another necessary
training is the offensive operation to destroy the
    For the defensive operation, important training is
aimed to establish defensive positions and obstacles in
a short period of time.  We make use of terrain and
reverse slope to minimize the loss of the enemy's
massive fire, defeating and destroying the airborne and
helicopterborne troops landing on our defensive area,
direct effective fire on the targets even in the night.
    For the offensive operation, a night attack combined
with the fire support and night movement training
becomes important.  Under the cover of darkness, the
enemy's superior air and naval gunfire are restricted,
and our movement is concealed.  In addition, training
for disposing of minefields promptly is required.
    Conclusion.  I have discussed, personally, the best
concept of operation, equipments, and training of the
division for carrying out the battle against both
landing and amphibious troops.  Taking the current
defense policy of Japan into consideration, it is rather
difficult to have all the necessary equipment for the
division and also would cost much.  However, as our
mission is to prevent an enemy invasion, we need
sufficient and proper equipments to destroy the invading
    The government, the Defense Agency, as well as the
Ground Self-Defense Force officials know well about
these, therefore, modernization will have progressed not
abruptly but steadily.
    1The Defense Agency, Japan, Defense of Japan 1984,
August 1983, pp. 68-70.
    2Asagumo Shimbunsha (Press) Inc., Defense Handbook,
1983, March 25, 1983, p. 21.
    3The Defense Agency, Japan, Defense of Japan 1984,
August 1983, p. 76.
    4Gunge Kenkuyu, Japan Military Review, November
1984, p. 55.
    5The Defense Agency, Japan, Defense of Japan 1984,
August 1983, pp. 304-308.
    6The Officer School, Japan, Rikusenkenkyu, August
1980, p. 69.
    7The Defense Agency, Japan, Defense of Japan 1984,
August 1983, pp. 68-71.
    8The Officer School, Japan, Rikusen Kenkuyu, October
1981, p. 11.
    9Marine Corps Command and Staff College, Planning
the Ship-to-Shore Movement, AY 1984-1985, pp. 14-20.
    10The Officer School, Japan, Rikusen Kenkuyu, October
1981, pp. 9-30.
    11The Officer School, Japan, Rikusen Kenkuyu, October
1981, pp. 9-30.
    12The Officer School, Japan, Rikusen Kenkuyu, October
1981, pp. 9-30.
    13The GSO, The Aggressor, Volume II, April 1978,
p. 129.
    14The GSO, Yagairei, Volume I, July 1979, p. 149.
    15The Officer School, Japan, Rikusen Kenkuyu,October
1980, pp. 11-26.
    16The GSO, The Aggressor, Volume II, April 1978, p.
1.  Asagumo Shimbunsha (Press) Inc., Defense Handbook,
      1983, March 25, 1983, p. 21.
2.  Gunge Kenkuyu, Japan Military Review, November 1984,
      p.   55.
3.  Marine Corps Command and Staff College, Planning the
      Ship-to-Shore Movement, AY 1984-1985, pp. 14-20.
4.  The Defense Agency, Japan, Defense of Japan 1984,
      August 1983, pp. 68-70.
5.  The Defense Agency, Japan, Defense of Japan 1984,
      August 1983, pp. 68-71.
6.  The Defense Agency, Japan, Defense of Japan 1984,
      August 1983, p. 76.
7.  The Defense Agency, Japan, Defense of Japan 1984,
      August 1983, pp. 304-308.
8.  The GSO, The Aggressor, Volume II, April 1978,
      p. 16.
9.  The GSO, The Aggressor, Volume II, April 1978,
      p.  129.
10. The GSO, The Yagairei, Volume I, July 1979, p. 149.
11. The Officer School, Japan, Rikusen Kenkuyu, August
      1981, p. 11.
12. The Officer School, Japan, Rikusen Kenkuyu, October
      1981, pp. 9-30.
13. The Officer School, Japan, Rikusen Kenkuyu, October
      1980, pp. 11-26.

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