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US Marines and Japanese Amphibious Rapid Deployment Brigade troops return to the amphibious dock landing ship USS Ashland after assault amphibious vehicle operations as part of KAMANDAG 2, October 5, 2018.

Japan activated its first marine unit since World War II to counter China, and it just teamed up with the US to practice storming beaches

Japan stood up a new amphibious brigade — its first such unit since World War II — earlier this year in order to counter threats posed by China, and the unit practiced amphibious operations with US and Filipino forces this month.
US Marines and the Philippine marine corps land on the beach in assault amphibious vehicles during KAMANDAG 2 in Subic Bay, Philippines, October 3, 2018.

Amid rising tensions with China, Japan just sent armored vehicles to foreign soil for the first time since World War II

Japanese troops are playing a humanitarian role in US-Philippine military exercises this month, and while the US says the drills are not directed at anyone, it comes amid heightened tensions with China.
Members of the Amphibious Rapid Deployment Brigade, Japan's first marine unit since World War Two, at a ceremony activating the brigade at JGSDF's Camp Ainoura in Sasebo, on the southwest island of Kyushu, April 7, 2018.

Japan activated an elite marine unit for the first time since World War II to counter China — and it’s getting ready for its first naval e...

The decision to reactivate the Amphibious Rapid Deployment Brigade was a contentious one, as it gave Japan's Self-Defense Force the ability to land in enemy territory. Such concerns are balanced against worries over China's increasingly assertive actions in the region.