MICHAEL MACARTHUR BOSACK – On Wednesday, the Air Self-Defense Force concluded Exercise Bushido Guardian with Australian counterparts in Chitose, Hokkaido. Last week, the Maritime Self-Defense Force finished up Exercise Malabar with U.S. and Indian participants out of Atsugi Air Base, Kanagawa Prefecture. Starting this week, the MSDF will be participating in Exercise Joint Warrior in the United Kingdom and the Ground Self-Defense Force will take part in the amphibious assault exercise Kamandag in the Philippines.
This level of interaction with foreign militaries is not only unprecedented, it would have seemed impossible just a decade ago for the Self-Defense Force. It is becoming increasingly commonplace though, to the point that Japan has been actively negotiating international agreements to allow for more routine operations by foreign forces in Japan and vice versa.