In Japan about thirteen hundred men of the Japanese self-defence forces took part in exercises in the Fuji area, on Tuesday (6 September).
GV PAN: Crowd watching
GV: Helicopter carrying jeep and landing, with troops collecting jeep (THREE SHOTS)
GV: Missile hitting target
GV: Tanks and armoured vehicles firing at targets (FIVE SHOTS)
GV: Armoured personnel carrier moving forward and troops getting out (TWO SHOTS)
GV: Troops firing and advancing
GV: Crowd and soldiers watching
GV: Tanks firing (THREE SHOTS)
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: In Japan about thirteen hundred men of the Japanese self-defence forces took part in exercises in the Fuji area, on Tuesday (6 September).
The exercise is held each year and is designed to familiarise students of the Ground Self-defence Force school at Fuji with firepower operations.
Sixteen aircrafts, including helicopters, two hundred armoured vehicles and forty artillery tanks took part in the exercises, which were held in the Eastern Higashi-Fuji manoeuvres are.
As well as trainee soldiers from the school, members of the public are allowed to watch the manoeuvres to give them an idea of the state of training of the force and its equipment. On Tuesday, they saw missiles hitting target, and tanks and armoured vehicles carrying out mock attacks.
Although the Japanese Constitution renounces war and the use of force, it recognises the right of self-defence and allows the maintenance of maritime and air self-defence forces. The United States provides equipment and training staff and also maintains bases on Japanese territory. Military service is voluntary.
There about 58,000 US military personnel and civilians in the country. The total strength of the self-defence forces was estimated at 235,000 last year. Of these, 153,00 belonged to the army, 39,000 to the navy and 44,000 to the air force, including a force of 5,000 deployed on Okinawa.
Observers say Japan is taking an increasing interest in its security. While the anti-militarism which emerged from its second world war defeat remains strongly entrenched, all parties represented in Japan's Lower House have now agreed in principle to set up a Parliamentary committee to analyze security questions.