Japan, U.S. to carry out basic review of Korean contingency tactics, focusing on over a dozen items, including selection of airports 

It has been learned that the Japanese and U.S. governments have begun to work on a basic review of the joint tactical plan of the U.S forces and the Self-Defense Forces (SDF) for meeting a regional contingency, such as a Korean Peninsula emergency, as well as a Japan emergency. This was revealed on Nov. 10 by multiple informed sources. More than a dozen items from the plan are up for consideration, including the selection of private airports to be used by U.S. forces during a contingency, the arrangements for transporting wounded U.S. soldiers and selection of the hospitals that will accept them. With the deteriorating health of North Korea’s General Secretary Kim Jong Il, the two governments see elements of instability on the Korean Peninsula, and plan to accelerate the work of reviewing the plan, aiming at completion by next fall. This will be the second basic revision of the plan, following one carried out during 2006-2007. Both governments have never announced the existence of such a plan. The contents of the current study  covers more than a dozen items including the following: 1) selection of private airports and harbors  to be used by the U.S. forces during an emergency situation; 2) air space control that includes flight restrictions; 3) transport of wounded U.S. soldiers and a system of medical support that would include facilities to accept the casualties; 4) handling by the Japanese government of persons regarded as prisoners of war by the U.S.; 5) coordination regarding the priority use of radio frequencies by the U.S. forces and the SDF; 6) response to CBRN attacks; 7) the strengthening of intelligence sharing between Japan and the U.S.; 8) close inspection of facilities prioritized for protecting U.S. forces; 9) consideration of mutual logistical support; and 10) handling of the war dead and those missing in action. 

In the selection of private airports and harbors, the U.S. forces have proposed the use of approximately 30 facilities, and since last year in the spring, coordination has been going on. But with such new factors as rumors of unstable health of General Secretary Kim Jong Il, the Japanese side has speeded up coordination with relevant organs. The government will clarify the role sharing of relevant ministries and agencies, such as providing medical support, use of frequencies, and responding to CBRN attacks.

Source: Yomiuri Newspaper