GOTENBA, Shizuoka -- The Ground Self-Defense Force (GSDF) carried out its annual live-fire Fuji Firepower Exercise on Aug. 26 at the Higashifuji exercise range in the city of Gotenba in Shizuoka Prefecture near Mount Fuji. The open-to-the-public drill this year featured a scenario of recovering remote islands from enemy forces, and saw the first participation of the Amphibious Rapid Deployment Brigade, which was established in March to defend island territories.
About 2,400 GSDF troops, about 80 tanks and armored vehicles as well as some 60 artillery pieces were deployed in the exercise. This was the first time that live-fire training involving amphibious combat vehicles with tank-sized guns has been shown to the public. Electronic warfare exercises using new systems to intercept or jam enemy communications was also part of the drill.
The 60th exercise, one the largest live-fire drills in Japan, used about 36 metric tons of ammunition costing some 390 million yen. About 24,000 spectators gathered to watch the event.
(Japanese original by Hiroshi Maetani, City News Department)