Lessons learned from Senkaku war games – The Japan News

According to a former Japanese government senior official who participated in the event, there had been no previous instance of former high-ranking officials from both Japan and the United States taking part together in war games dealing with a delicate issue such as the Senkaku Islands. After the games finished, some participants spoke of the difficulty they had communicating with the other sides. “I couldn’t understand what they were thinking, and I misread their approach,” one participant said.

James Kendall, a fellow at the Sasakawa Peace Foundation USA and a former U.S. Marine Corps officer, directed the event and said it provided some valuable insights.

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“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,” Kendall said. “The controllers were surprised at how determined the Japanese side was to keep the SDF out of the situation. For the China team side, this caused a great deal of mistrust … So, this was a very good lesson … But this is mirrored in reality.”

Lessons learned from Senkaku war games – The Japan News