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Japan holds annual live-fire drill at foothill of Mt. Fuji

English.news.cn   2014-08-24 15:30:09

TOKYO, Aug. 24 (Xinhua) -- The Japanese Ground Self-Defense Forces (GSDF) on Sunday held an annual live-fire military drill in the GSDF maneuver filed at the foothill of Mount Fuji in Gotemba city in Shizuoka Prefecture, with the participation of Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera.

About 2,300 Self-Defense Forces joined in the military drill, as well as about 80 tanks and armed vehicles and 60 artilleries. Japan's Air Self-Defense Forces and Maritime Self-Defense Forces also sent fighters and other units to the exercise.

The war game grouped island-retaking subject in efforts to show the country's strategy to enhance its capability to defend its remote islands. Japan now has territorial disputes with China, South Korea and Russia over islands and is on a trail to take tough stance on the issues.

The large-scale drill was the first after the Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's Cabinet in July giving green light to the SDF to exercise rights to the collective self-defense that allows the Japanese forces to engage war outside the country.

The overhaul of Japan's defense stance sparked wide concerns as the collective defense violate Japan's war-renouncing constitution that bans the SDF to combat overseas.

Besides the defense policy overhaul, Japan also relaxed its ban on weapons exports and joint development of defense equipments.

Around 44 tons of live ammunition, worth some 350 million yen, were prepared for Sunday's exercise, according to local report.

The Japanese Defense Ministry is mulling to request a record- high 5.05 trillion yen budget for fiscal 2015 from next April, marking a 3.5-percent jump from the budget earmarked for the current fiscal year, reported Japan's Kyodo News Saturday.

The budget request will cover creating an amphibious force, introducing new amphibious assault vessels and six F-35 stealth fighters, as well as the bulk purchase of 20 P-1 jet aircraft to succeed the aging P-3C, in a move to facilitate its capacity to defend its remote territories, according to Kyodo.

Editor: Fu Peng
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