Japan Taking Part in Large Military Exercise in Thailand

Jiji Press
An opening ceremony is held for large-scale military exercise Cobra Gold in the Thai province of Rayong on Tuesday.

RAYONG, Thailand (Jiji Press) — Japan and other countries marked the start of a large-scale military exercise co-hosted by the U.S. and Thai militaries in a ceremony at a naval airfield in the Thai province of Rayong on Tuesday.

The Cobra Gold exercise brings together 30 countries, also including China. Participating personnel total some 9,500, the largest number since the COVID-19 pandemic began.

Japan is one of the seven main countries taking part, together with South Korea, Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore as well as the United States and Thailand.

China and India will only participate in training for humanitarian assistance.

Cobra Gold includes land, air and sea drills as well as cyber- and space-related training.

U.S. Ambassador to Thailand Robert Godec said Cobra Gold contributes to securing a free and open Indo-Pacific region.

Complex issues that cannot be solved by one country alone can be solved only through cooperation, and the safety of people can thus be maintained, Godec said.

The exercise drew some 4,200 troops from the United States, the largest number among the 30 countries, and about 180 personnel from Japan’s Self-Defense Forces. SDF members will also conduct training to protect Japanese nationals abroad.