• Short Summary


    INTRODUCTION: The Japanese Defence Ministry is to develop four new weapon systems over the next six years at a total cost of 252 million dollars.

  • Description

    1. GV Helicopters flying over. 0.05
    2. LV & SV Troops on the ground watch helicopters land and armoured jeeps drive out. (4 SHOTS) 0.29
    3. GV Helicopter gunships fire rockers at targets. 0.36
    4. SV Helicopter carrying field gun. 0.42
    5. SV Troops included women watch as field gun fire. (3 SHOTS) 0.56
    6. SV Heavy tank passes. 1.00
    7. Cu & GV Civilians watch as tanks fire at distant targets. (3 SHOTS) 1.15
    8. SV Tanks drive to firing position. (2 SHOTS) 1.40
    9. GV Crowds watch as tanks put a smoke screen. 1.50
    10. GV F-4 interceptor planes fly over, smoke pall. (2 SHOTS) 1.59

    Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved

    Background: NEAR TOKYO, JAPAN

    INTRODUCTION: The Japanese Defence Ministry is to develop four new weapon systems over the next six years at a total cost of 252 million dollars. Ground-to-ship missiles and a new battle tank have top priority, followed by development of a laser-guided anti-tank missile and anti-aircraft machine guns for tanks. Earlier this month (24 September) the annual exercises of Japan;s self-defence forces were held at the Mount Fuji training area, near Tokyo. They took on ever greater significance this year after United States Secretary of the State Alexander Haig called on Japan to play a bigger role in the defence of the region.

    SYNOPSIS: Following World War Two Japan maintained the right to self-defence with air, ground, and maritime forces. The total strength of these forces is around 241,000 with nearly half that number serving in the army. Military service is voluntary and the United States provides aid in the form of training, equipment and by maintaining bases in Japan.

    These are helicopter gunships that carry anti-tank missiles which can be fired with deadly accuracy.

    The exercise was designed to test flexibility and co-operation between air and ground forces in a simulated attack. The exercise-commander had around 1,500 troops, 25 aircraft and about two-hundred tanks and vehicles at his disposal.

    The 38-ton tank used by Japan's defence force has a crew of four and its main firepower comes from a 105 millimetre gun. Under the new weapon system programme, tanks would be fitted with anti-aircraft guns.

    US Secretary of State Alexander Haig was joined by South Korea in looking to these forces being used to contain what they call a growing threat from the Soviet Union. Both have called for Japan to play a larger defence role. The government of Prime Minister Zenko Suzuki is standing by its increased defence expenditure despite severe opposition in Parliament.

    One of the most impressive displays of the exercise was a smoke screen laid by tanks.

    Japan's increased military spending will provide the air force with more sophisticated jets, including American F15 fighters.


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