Japan Press Weekly
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SDF men received training at U.S. bases in Okinawa 81 times in 3 years
At least 81 times between 2005 and 2007, the Japanese Self-Defense Forces have held their training exercises for war at U.S. military bases in Okinawa under the name of ginduction,h in addition to annual large-scale bilateral and joint training exercises.
The Defense Ministry has for the first time revealed the number of SDF training exercises at U.S. bases in a report submitted to Japanese Communist Party member of the House of Representatives Akamine Seiken.
The report says that SDF personnel training exercises were held 31 times in FY2005, 18 times in FY2006, and 32 times in FY2007. The Ground SDF carried this out 28 times, Maritime SDF 5 times, and Air SDF 48 times in the three years.
These training exercises were held mainly at the U.S. Marine Corps Camp Hansen and the U.S. Kadena Air Base, which the 2005 Japan-U.S. agreement on realignment of U.S. forces in Japan cited as facilities for co-use by the U.S. forces and the SDF.
The SDF training included the gformation and functions of U.S. Marine Corpsh, landing operations, martial arts, and rescue of injured personnel at the trench line.
How to handle the Improvised Explosive Device (IED) was the theme of training on October 14, 2006.
Weekly paper Asagumo which specializes in SDF affairs reported on November 30, 2006 that 42 men from the GSDF 1st Mixed Group in Naha, Okinawa, had training for the use, detection, identification, and disposal of IEDs brought back by U.S. Marines from Iraq. This shows that these drills are designed to get the SDF prepared for operations abroad, including Iraq.
In another case, the GSDF Central Readiness Groupfs Special Operation Group based at the GSDF Narashino Garrison in Chiba Prefecture received training between January 13 and February 2, 2008 at the U.S. Army Torii Communication Station in Okinawa, where Green Berets from the U.S. Army 1st Special Forces Group taught GSDF men.
The July 7, 2006 issue of the Okinawa Marine, an organ of the Okinawa-based U.S. Marines, reported that about 100 Air SDF cadets on June 28, 2006 inspected combat demonstration by U.S. infantrymen at the U.S. Marine Corps Camp Schwab.
These are de facto joint U.S.-Japan military training exercises and this shows that Japan-U.S. military integration is underway in Okinawa.
- Akahata, April 11, 2008
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