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Japan to stage largest Ground Self-Defense Force military drills in 28 years

Aim is to strengthen defense capabilities, counter China’s ever more frequent and aggressive actions

Japanese soldiers training in early 2021. 

Japanese soldiers training in early 2021.  (AP photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Japan is mobilizing 100,000 soldiers for its Ground Self-Defense Force's largest maneuvers in 28 years, reports said Friday (Sept. 10).

The drills are scheduled to take place from Wednesday (Sept. 15) until late November, CNA reported. According to the south Japan local news site, the aim of the event is to strengthen defense capabilities and counter China’s ever more frequent and aggressive maritime activities.

The last time the Ground Self-Defense Force staged drills on a national scale was in 1993, the website said. The exercises are set to involve 20,000 vehicles, in addition to 120 aircraft and private ships, while the navy, air force, and United States troops based in Japan will provide assistance.

Participants will take PCR tests and implement other measures to prevent outbreaks of COVID-19, the report said. The announcement of the maneuvers followed statements by Japanese government officials, including Japan Defense Minister Kishi Nobuo (岸信夫), warning the country could not stand aside in the event of Chinese action against Taiwan.

Updated : 2021-09-27 09:19 GMT+08:00