Lieutenant General Patrick Sanders (UK Land Force Commander) shakes hands with Japan Ground Self-Defence Force Lieutenant General Yuichi Takada during a joint military drill in Oyama on October 2, 2018. Credit: MARTIN BUREAU/AFP
Some would question whether ‘alliance’ is the right term to describe the UK-Japan relationship. When you hear this, you might ask instead ‘is there a better word that 同盟 – “allies”? :
“Japan remains one of our most important strategic partners in the Asia-Pacific region and we welcome the opportunity to develop strong bi-lateral ties as well as demonstrate the UK’s approach to joint exercises. No nation operates alone and we want to assure Japan that they will not have to fight alone either”.
UK Land Force Commander Lt. General Patrick Sanders quoted in UK Daily Telegraph
50 members of the British Army’s Reserve intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance regiment (the Honourable Artillery Company) have taken part in joint training at the Fuji Training Camp with the Japanese Ground Self-Defence Forces.
Exercise VIGILANT ISLES began with a joint helicopter drill where troops from both nations demonstrated their rapid reaction capability. The exercise is focused on sharing tactics and surveillance techniques.Troops were deployed to observation posts in the rural training area to simulate a joint operation involving a similar number of Japanese soldiers.
Commanding Officer Lt. Col. Mark Wood, said:
“The HAC has almost 500 years of history, but this is the first time anyone in the Regiment or indeed the British Army has had the opportunity to train alongside the Japanese Ground Self Defence Force. It is an incredible privilege to be at the vanguard. The Japanese have been incredibly welcoming and excellent partners to work with, and we have learned a huge amount from them, improving both our mutual understanding and our ability to plan and conduct activity together.”
The training continues for the a fortnight in Ojijihara, north of the city of Sendai, a five-hour drive from Tokyo.
Credits to article at The Military Times
British Army joint exercise with Japan Ground Self Defence Forces at the Fuji training area. This is the first time foreign military (except the US) has trained on Japanese soil, further deepening the UK-Japan partnership. Twitter page of UK Ambassador to Japan, Paul Madden