SDF to conduct first joint military exercises in Japan with British Army

JIJI

The Defense Ministry’s Ground Staff Office has said the Self-Defense Forces will conduct their first joint exercises in Japan with the British Army, aiming to improve tactical capabilities and strengthen bilateral ties.

The office said Friday that some 50 members of the British Army and some 60 SDF personnel, mainly from the GSDF, will take part in exercises to be held at a GSDF training school in Shizuoka Prefecture and training areas in Yamanashi and Miyagi prefectures.

The drills, to be held between Sept. 30 an Oct. 12, will involve parachute drops from helicopters and reconnaissance and surveillance activities, but not live firing.

The SDF has strengthened cooperation with the British military in recent years.

The Air Self-Defense Force conducted its first joint drill with the Royal Air Force in 2016, while the Maritime Self-Defense Force conducted its first drill with the Royal Navy last April.

In May this year, the British Navy joined surveillance missions against maritime smuggling by North Korean ships.

The GSDF joined a multinational drill hosted by the British Army in Britain in 2016.