Nikkei News
April 24, 2022

Japan weighs hosting largest-ever joint drills with U.S. Marines
Bilateral military exercise in fall planned with eye on Russia and China

Japan and the U.S. will hold joint military drills in Hokkaido this fall, with the two-week exercises expected to involve more than 4,000 personnel, Nikkei has learned.

The Resolute Dragon exercises between Japan’s Ground Self-Defense Force and the U.S. Marine Corps will take place across September and October. The two sides look to make this the largest-ever bilateral drill involving U.S. Marines.


U.S. forces in Japan do not have a command center on the northern island of Hokkaido. This year’s edition of Resolute Dragon, first held in December last year with roughly 4,000 participants, is seen as an important opportunity to assess…capabilities and operations there.

…The drills…provide Japan and the U.S. a chance to confirm procedures for handling the defense of remote islands.

The Russian military conducted drills on the Kuril Islands, north of Hokkaido, in March. The islands are held by Russia and claimed by Japan as the Northern Territories.

In response to the 2021 exercises, Russia’s foreign ministry said the drills presented a “serious challenge and a potential threat” to the country’s security.

Japan and the U.S. have been conducting joint drills more frequently….Bilateral exercises were held 49 times in fiscal 2020, up 40% from the previous year, according to Japan’s defense white paper.

In the two months since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on Feb. 24, drills have take place around 10 times, mainly involving Japan’s Maritime SDF.

The SDF has stepped up defense preparedness on Japan’s southwestern flank, including the Senkaku Islands in the East China Sea and the Nansei Islands that extend toward Taiwan. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has heightened Japan’s need to strengthen capabilities in the north….


April 24, 2022

Japan and the United States will hold exercises on the island of Hokkaido in the fall

The Japanese Self-Defense Forces and the US Marine Corps will hold two weeks of joint exercises on the island of Hokkaido in September and October this year.

…A total of 4,000 servicemen are expected to take part in the exercises, which confirms that it will be the largest joint military exercise with US Marines and Japanese in the island’s history.

It is noted that the purpose of the exercises is to increase the resistance of Japan and the United States to possible threats in the East Asian region.