CAMP FOSTER, Okinawa — The Japanese Ground Self-Defense Force will train for the first time on Camp Hansen next week.
Opening the Marine Corps camp’s training facilities to the JGSDF is part of a 2006 bilateral agreement to realign U.S. Forces in Japan.
About 150 Japanese will conduct a two-day, overnight drill that will include rappelling, tactical marches and camping, according to a spokesman for the JGSDF’s First Combined Brigade in Naha. They will be equipped with small arms, machine guns and heavy and medium trucks, but there will be no live firing.
The training will take place at Camp Hansen’s Combat Town, which resembles an urban district, the spokesman said.
Some Marines will attend the training to ensure the safety of the facility but won’t provide technical instruction, he said.
Three neighboring communities — Kin, Ginoza and Onna — initially opposed the plan but accepted the joint use last November after Tokyo promised economic incentives. Japan’s Diet passed an incentive bill last year, enabling local municipalities that agree to new military facilities and training to receive national government subsidies.
The three communities are entitled to receive a total of about 20 million yen (about $185,000) as subsidy for fiscal year 2007, according to a spokesman for Ministry of Defense’s Naha bureau.