Jan. 8 (UPI) — Japan’s First Airborne Brigade opened the public up to a parachute drill in the Chiba Prefecture, east of Tokyo on Sunday as the country continues to shed its post-World War pacifism.
The drill was aimed at preparing for an attack on one of Japan’s numerous remote islands. In past years, it had been based on the scenario of taking such an island back after an enemy had invaded it.
Japanese paratroopers were dropped from transport planes and were supported by helicopters after landing. Japan’s Ground Self-Defense Force said British and Australian troops helped in the drill for the first time along with 70 U.S. military members.
Japan said the participation was part of Tokyo’s efforts to strengthen cooperation among its military partners.
On Thursday, Japan will begin defense drills with the Indian Air Force, which will last through Jan. 26.
The drills come less than a month after Japan, under new Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, enshrined military changes in three key security documents giving it counterstrike capability that some of the islands questioned if it was constitutional.
The changes would allow the Japanese military to hit enemy bases and command-and-control nodes with longer-range standoff missiles.
“The international community is facing changes defining an era,” said a statement last month that led Japan’s new National Security Strategy. “We are reminded once again that globalization and interdependence alone cannot serve as a guarantor for peace and development across the globe.
“The free, open, and stable international order, which expanded worldwide in the post-Cold War era, is now at stake with serious challenges amidst historical changes in power balances and intensifying geopolitical competitions.”