Japan’s GSDF to Join U.S., Philippines for Joint Military Exercises

Yomiuri Shimbun file photo
The main gate of the Defense Ministry is seen in Shinjuku Ward, Tokyo.

The Ground Self-Defense Force will take part in joint exercises with marines from the Philippines and the United States from Thursday through Nov. 20.

It will be the sixth time for the GSDF to take part in the drill, which will be conducted in the Philippines, but the first time for the GSDF personnel to be dispatched to the country to take part in defense exercises for coastal areas and islands.

Personnel from the GSDF Ground Component Command headquarters and the Amphibious Rapid Deployment Brigade, which is responsible for recapturing remote islands, will participate in the Kamandag 23 exercises.

Amphibious operations forces from the three countries are to conduct landing exercises at the Philippine Marine Corps base on Palawan Island, which faces the South China Sea, among other locations.

Japan and the United States are working to strengthen security cooperation with the Philippines with an eye on China’s increasing hegemonic moves in the South China Sea.

It is said that if the Reciprocal Access Agreement (RAA) is signed, it will make it easier for SDF personnel and the Philippine military to conduct training exercises, as well as enhance mutual operational capability.