Japan’s Ground Self-Defense Force (GSDF) on Wednesday began a military exercise involving all units for the first time in nearly 30 years in a bid to bolster its capability amid rising regional threats.
Japan’s Kyodo News reported that the exercises will continue until the end of November across the country with the aim of strengthening the ability to defend Japan’s remote islands close to the Chinese side.
The agency quoted a Land Self-Defense Force official as stressing that those exercises are based on the 2019 National Defense Program guidelines, which include enhancing capabilities for “defending islands in the East China Sea.”
Drawing attention to China’s military activities in the region, the official said, “Our focus is on our operational readiness in an increasingly uncertain security environment.”
In turn, Japanese Defense Minister Kiichi Nobu stressed the importance of these exercises for the “island region”, noting that it is the largest in the country’s history during the past thirty years.
“The immediate and comprehensive deployment of our core forces is important to respond effectively to various situations, including attacks on the islands,” the minister added.
About 100,000 personnel, 20,000 vehicles and 120 aircraft are participating in the exercises, which will be conducted by the Ground Self-Defense Forces in all its units across the country.
exercises that included communications and logistics systems, as well as the Maritime Self-Defense Forces (MSDF); Designed to increase regional deterrence and military capabilities.
It was reported that 12,000 personnel and 3,900 vehicles from the two divisions of the Ground Self-Defense Forces stationed in “Hokkaido” (north) and Tohoku (northeast), and the brigade stationed in “Shikoku” (west), will go on an expedition to “Kyushu” (south). West).
During that campaign, military vehicles, including tanks, will be transported to Kyushu by ferries and special railways.
Japan’s public broadcaster reported that the GSDF held its last military exercise of this size in 1993, after the end of the Cold War.