Japan-U.S. joint exercises took place a total of 366 days a year

The U.S. forces and the Japanese Self-Defense Forces carried out 117 joint military exercises over a total of 366 days between April 2002 and March 2003. Akahata reported this on August 5 based on data it obtained from the Defense Agency under the Free Access to Information Law.

The number of joint exercises between the Japanese Maritime SDF and the US. Navy was 68 over 172 days. There were five combined joint exercises lasting 19 days.

These figures do not count Cobra Gold, Corp Thunder, and other multinational exercises that include Japan and the United States.

A majority of JMSDF -U.S. Navy exercises were small-scale basic exercises, conducted 60 times over 76 days. A report the Maritime Staff Office compiled on the result of the JMSDF small-scale basic exercises in FY2002 highly appreciated that their operational capability systematically improved through frequent joint exercises with the U.S. aircraft carrier Carl Vinson and other U.S. vessels.

The Defense Agency report also refers to exercises for early warning and information gathering, and integrated intelligence exercises. The former is concerned with the launching of ballistic missiles, operation of forces, and public relations and the latter assumes activities to rescue Japanese citizens in "situations in areas surrounding Japan" (Asia-Pacific region).

No details of these exercises were released by the agency.

Akahata commented that these disclosures indicate that through daily exercises throughout the year, both forces have further closely integrated as one so that the SDF will be fully incorporated into joint operations overseas under the U.S. forces command. (end)

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