Roughly 15 years ago, the Australian Defense Force was charged with protecting Japan Self-Defense Force units deployed to Samawah, Iraq, for reconstruction efforts.

It was an arrangement necessitated by Japan's peace Constitution and security laws, which restricted the SDF's use of weapons abroad in defending themselves against hostile actors. It also meant that the Australian Defense Forces who were responsible for the protection of their Japanese counterparts could not count on them to reciprocate in kind when under enemy fire.

This past weekend, the SDF demonstrated that, under the right circumstances, they can finally return the favor.