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A Japan Ground Self-Defense Force Type 16 maneuver combat vehicle fires during an annual live firing exercise at Higashi Fuji range in Gotemba, Shizuoka Prefecture, on Saturday. Photo: Charly Triballeau/Pool via AP
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GSDF conduct live fire drills near Mt Fuji

29 Comments

Japan's Ground Self Defense Forces on Saturday held a live-fire drill at training grounds in Gotemba, Shizuoka Prefecture.

The annual exercise, held since 1961, comes as the government moves to expand the role of the military and boost the defense budget.

It is usually held in August but because the Tokyo Olympics had been scheduled for this year, the event was moved up to May. The drills were scaled back in size with about 1,800 GSDF personnel participating — down from 2,400 last year.

Held against the backdrop of Mt Fuji, a wide array of aircraft, artillery, tanks and helicopters fired on targets. The scenario was to retake an island that had been captured by enemy forces.

The exercises are the biggest event staged by the Ground Self-Defense Forces each year. Members of the public, chosen by lottery, are invited to watch the drills, but because of the coronavirus, no spectators were invited this year.

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29 Comments
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"The drills were scaled back in size with about 1,800 GSDF personnel participating — down from 2,400 last year" In reality it could have been called down to zero! just cancel it. who much has this cost the tax payer? absolutely shed loads of Yen! could this money have not been better spent on the most venerable in society today, In J news this morning there is a 72 YO guy ( Kobayashi san) in Shinjuku in a food bank que, he's barely scrapping a living, does the government really need to undertake this military exercise??

0 ( +11 / -11 )

does the government really need to undertake this military exercise??

Yes, it does.

2 ( +14 / -12 )

Live fire drills are a necessary part of the overall training regime for any military.

12 ( +15 / -3 )

A knife is only good if always kept sharp. Same as with any military in any country.

11 ( +15 / -4 )

@ Ossan - well stated. I am sure the Communists across the water kept a good watch. These exercises will make them think again before trying anything smart. Don't mess with JSDF.

3 ( +11 / -8 )

Don't mess with JSDF.

Ganbare Japan!

1 ( +10 / -9 )

Not necessary anymore in the world of a single click.

If the leaders chosen properlt and with Good and Calm Co-Operation, it makes more sense to avoid any war, so doesn't need this to waste money and time.

0 ( +8 / -8 )

I understand that the defence force needs to train, but does it need to train right now? this can be put off or postponed for a few months until the economy gets going again, the government need to focus on what is important, and you will say, training is important, but what about the elderly? the venerable citizens who have defended and served Japan, dont they warrant being looked after? may be utilising the defence force to help deliver food to out laying areas or utilising the medical staff to help the sick and leave doctor and front line medical staff to look after the C19 patients.

1 ( +7 / -6 )

what a waste of tax.

yesterday i got new knowledge that us military in Japan is "necessary" as admin have erased all my comments with my opinions that Yankees should go home.mea culpa-i am wrong.

question-what for jsdf is needed in real?what for these "live drills" are needed?

many people have lost jobs,have been forced to close businesses,went bankrupt,many did suicide...why gov does not care abt these peoples lives?

are people "important"when paying taxes?

why gov wasting double money-both of Yankees and own jsdf?????

and where are my abenomasks and 100.000 jpy?????

-3 ( +6 / -9 )

@Matej

why gov wasting double money-both of Yankees and own jsdf?????

There is one wise dictum: if you don't want to feed your own army you'll have to feed the army of another country. While Japan don't need the U.S. military on its soil and it should not feed the U.S. military industry (better to make own weaponry and feed your own industry), the SDF is essential and indispensable to defend Japan. And any military needs to train to be in form.

and where are my abenomasks and 100.000 jpy?????

Don't ask JT, they do not distribute it. Ask your ward / town office.

4 ( +8 / -4 )

Timing is awful.

JSDF is tiny and pretty useless compared to the Chinese war machine however small it might be in terms of warships etc.

Japan relies on the U.S military and will continue to rely on them for a good few decades to come.

The purpose of the drills is to show intent and a show of force blah blah.

JSDF is inexperienced and ill equipped against almost any confrontation despite buying some over priced U.S warplanes and a new warship.

1 ( +6 / -5 )

"and a new warship"

Japan does not buy warships from the US; they make their own ships, submarines, tanks, rocket launchers, etc.

Heck, "as per the Yanks on here), they could make their own attack planes if they really wanted to.

"JSDF is inexperienced and ill equipped against almost any confrontation"

I bet the JSDF would be toast versus the Vatican army.

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

I bet the JSDF would be toast versus the Vatican army.

Really? The Japanese Navy, for instance, is the 4th biggest in the world, and would stand up to all the rest, bar the USN. People underestimate the raw power of the Japanese Military.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

Brian WhewayToday  06:14 pm JST

I understand that the defence force needs to train, but does it need to train right now?

No.

It is usually held in August 

Plus, any army that ‘trains’ one day a year isn’t going to be all that combat ready against an army that trains year round. Today’s activity was just for show; the Chinese (and other major military powers) know what Japan has and how battle-ready they are.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

@Fightoo!

The Vatican does not have an army.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

The Vatican does not have an army.

They do, actually. The "Swiss Guards".

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

https://www.navalnews.com/naval-news/2019/07/jmu-launches-haguro-second-maya-class-aegis-destroyer-for-the-jmsdf/

Fitted with the AEGIS Baseline J7 combat system and the Northrop Grumman AN/SPQ-9B radar system, both JS Maya and JS Haguro destroyers will be able to fire the latest iteration of Raytheon’s SM-3 ballistic defense missile. Being jointly developed by the U.S. and Japan, the SM-3 Block IIA features larger rocket motors that will allow it to defend broader areas from ballistic missile threats and a larger kinetic warhead.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

People underestimate the raw power of the Japanese Military.

What are you basing your estimation of this ‘raw power’ on, cobber?

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

"They do, actually. The "Swiss Guards".

I am well aware of that; I have seen them myself.

However, they're more like a "guard of honour" hence my sarcasm.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

What are you basing your estimation of this ‘raw power’ on, cobber?

Well, look at the last time they were in action, Bro. They did pretty well against their current adversary. To put it mildly.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

Though the history is not a proof of future, there are some Japan naval incidents in the past with some neighbors showing Japan Navy's competence in battles. I would not underestimate the moral and competence of contemporary Japan Navy.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Well, look at the last time they were in action, Bro.

When was that, sport? Have they shown their ‘raw power’ recently?

Do they have the same ‘raw power’ as ‘the street fighter from Yamaguchi’ Abe-san?

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

Always a little surprised that the self defense forces Shizuoka ground is used for large scale live fire drills.

With Mt Fuji, THE icon of Japan, known and loved world wide in the background, doesn't somehow fit the image of a military practice site, esp with bombs, shells, bullets etc.

Much more isolated military defense places to hold such activities, without disturbing the calm and beauty of the Fuji-san environ.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Budgets must be spent. As simple as that!

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Yes it's necessary.

China has increased it's military spending by another 6.6% this year announced on the news this week. A military budget of 180$ billion dollars in Chinese Yuan that's probably more like 300$ billion.

Then you have the infinite land Russia, a country which we never signed a peace treaty, a country which has stolen land from Japan, and always seems to want more when the opportunity shows up. Took Crimea back by force.

North Korea a country of only 20 million people, super poor in terms of economics and development, but strong enough to fire missiles over Japan, test nuclear weapons, threaten Japan with Nuclear destruction.

South Korea. The most anti-Japan country in the world! The more apologies you give, the more money you pay, the more Hate they have towards Japan. They walk out of aggrements time and again! I trust S. Korea to keep their promise as much as I trust North Korea to keep a promise, agreement signed. 0

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Yes it's necessary if you live in reality and it's 2020.

China has increased it's military spending by another 6.6% this year announced on the news this week. A military budget of 180$ billion dollars in Chinese Yuan that's probably more like 300$ billion.

Then you have the infinite land Russia, a country which we never signed a peace treaty, a country which has stolen land from Japan, and always seems to want more when the opportunity shows up. Took Crimea back by force.

North Korea a country of only 20 million people, super poor in terms of economics and development, but strong enough to fire missiles over Japan, test nuclear weapons, threaten Japan with Nuclear destruction.

South Korea. The most anti-Japan country in the world! The more apologies you give, the more money you pay, the more Hate they have towards Japan. They walk out of aggrements time and again! I trust S. Korea to keep their promise as much as I trust North Korea to keep a promise, agreement signed 0.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Environmental pollution. Awful picture.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

entire world has bene brought to its knees not by military might but by a virus - idiots think a tank matters but still haven't tested masses - imbeciles

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Wouldn't it be far better use of Tax payers money to test Missile defense systems ? Or ... maybe even start developing some of their own home-grown ones rather than relying upon the flaky ones produced elsewhere ?

Armies are generally a thing of the past- particularly armoured divisions. Tanks can be easily destroyed by guided missiles. The Taliban in Afghanistan have proven pretty resilient to even the Worlds Largest Most well equipped Military force - perhaps a lesson or two could be learnt from them towards tactics - baring, of course the Civilian attacks.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

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