PARIS – Three Self-Defense Forces officers joined the annual Bastille Day parade in Paris on Monday.
With this year marking the 100th anniversary of the start of World War I, the French government invited representatives from some 80 countries involved in the 1914-1918 war to the parade.
Some 4,000 participants, including the SDF officers and military personnel from other countries, marched about 2 km down the Champs Elysees from the Arc de Triomphe to Place de la Concorde.
Japan last joined the annual event in 2008, when the French government invited countries participating in U.N. peacekeeping operations.
Before the start of the parade, Capt. Nobuyuki Sannohe of the Ground Self-Defense Force, one of the three Japanese participants, said, “I hope to show Japan’s contributions to peace on this international stage.”
Each July 14, France marks the anniversary of the storming of the Bastille in 1789 at the start of the French Revolution.