Japanese army to hold nationwide exercise for first time in nearly 30 years

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Tokyo

Japan’s Ground Self-Defence Force will conduct nationwide drills this year, the first military exercise of such a scale in almost three decades, according to a schedule published Thursday.

The drills are expected to take place between September and November and involve all units, according to the Kyodo news agency. The Japanese army has around 140,000 personnel.

The war games come amid heightened tensions between Japan and China, which have laid rival claims to islands in marginal seas of the Pacific.

The Tokyo-based news agency said Japanese troops will drill supply transportation and communication.

Japan also plans to host a joint exercise with US marines and French forces as early as May and will send troops to a trilateral exercise with the US in Australia and bilateral exercises with the US, the UK and India later this year.—AP