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A parachutist lands on a demonstration field after jumping from a Japan Ground Self-Defense Force CH-47 Chinook helicopter during Japan's annual Fuji Firepower demonstration near Mount Fuji, Japan, Thursday, Aug. 24, 2017.
A parachutist lands on a demonstration field after jumping from a Japan Ground Self-Defense Force CH-47 Chinook helicopter during Japan's annual Fuji Firepower demonstration near Mount Fuji, Japan, Thursday, Aug. 24, 2017. (Leon Cook/Stars and Stripes)
A parachutist lands on a demonstration field after jumping from a Japan Ground Self-Defense Force CH-47 Chinook helicopter during Japan's annual Fuji Firepower demonstration near Mount Fuji, Japan, Thursday, Aug. 24, 2017.
A parachutist lands on a demonstration field after jumping from a Japan Ground Self-Defense Force CH-47 Chinook helicopter during Japan's annual Fuji Firepower demonstration near Mount Fuji, Japan, Thursday, Aug. 24, 2017. (Leon Cook/Stars and Stripes)
Japan Ground Self-Defense Force troops fire shells with airburst submunitions during the annual Fuji Firepower demonstration near Mount Fuji, Japan, Thursday, Aug. 24, 2017.
Japan Ground Self-Defense Force troops fire shells with airburst submunitions during the annual Fuji Firepower demonstration near Mount Fuji, Japan, Thursday, Aug. 24, 2017. (Leon Cook/Stars and Stripes)
A Japanese Type 10 main battle tank, one of the most advanced armored fighting vehicles in the world, fires its 120mm cannon during the annual Fuji Firepower demonstrations near Mount Fuji, Japan, Thursday, Aug. 24, 2017.
A Japanese Type 10 main battle tank, one of the most advanced armored fighting vehicles in the world, fires its 120mm cannon during the annual Fuji Firepower demonstrations near Mount Fuji, Japan, Thursday, Aug. 24, 2017. (Leon Cook/Stars and Stripes)

EAST FUJI MANEUVER AREA, Japan — The Japan Self-Defense Force showed off some impressive defensive capabilities during live-fire demonstrations at the foot of Mount Fuji.

Troops fired weapons ranging from small arms to artillery, entertaining an eager crowd of several thousand civilians for two hours on Thursday to kick off the annual Fuji Firepower arms demonstration.

Japan’s post-World War II constitution strictly forbids the nation from conducting offensive operations but the demands of guarding thousands of islands, not far from communist and nuclear-armed China and North Korea and expansionist Russia, means the nation’s “self-defense force” is larger than most militaries.

There’ll be more live-fire demonstrations at the maneuver area on Saturday and Sunday with even larger crowds expected.

cook.leon@stripes.com

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