U.S. fires Javelin anti-tank missile in Japan for 1st time as Orient Shield 22 joint drills begin

The Yomiuri Shimbun
A Javelin missile is launched by U.S. Army personnel during a live-fire drill on Sunday morning at the Ground Self-Defense Force’s Oyanohara Training Area in Yamato, Kumamoto Prefecture.

KUMAMOTO — The U.S. military’s Javelin portable anti-tank missile was fired for the first time in Japan during a U.S. Army joint drill on Sunday with the Ground Self-Defense Force.

Washington has been supplying Kyiv with the Javelin since Russia invaded Ukraine.

The live-fire drill using the Javelin missile was shown to the media at the GSDF Oyanohara Training Area in Yamato, Kumamoto Prefecture. U.S. Army personnel fired Javelin missiles to destroy targets about 2 kilometers away. The GSDF also fired portable anti-tank missiles in its possession.

The drill was on the first day of Orient Shield 22, joint field exercises of the GSDF and U.S. Army across Kyushu assuming island defense. The joint training has been conducted in Japan since 1982 with an aim of improving the operational capabilities of both forces.

Through Sept. 9, about 2,100 personnel will practice in eight locations in Kyushu, including Camp Fukuoka in Kasuga, Fukuoka Prefecture, and the Kirishima Training Area in Ebino, Miyazaki Prefecture. The exercises are thought to be aimed at strengthening the ability to cope with China’s active military activities.

Electronic warfare units from both forces will also participate in drills at Camp Amami in Kagoshima Prefecture and elsewhere to counter attacks from offshore vessels. This will be demonstrated to the media on Wednesday.