Fire Power 2012 in FUJI

Fire Power 2012 in FUJI

On August 26, the GSDF held its 54th Fire Power 2012 in Fuji at the Higashi-Fuji Training Area in Gotemba City, Shizuoka Prefecture. The exercises were open to the public.

The exercises were attended by Minister of Defense Morimoto, former Parliamentary Secretary of Defense Shimojo, former Parliamentary Secretary of Defense Jinpu, as well as other senior officials from the Ministry of Defense, Diet members, related personnel from the U.S. Forces, and the general public. A total of approximately 30,000 people visited the exercises,where modern firepower was made full use of.

Participants in the exercises were mostly made up of approximately 2,400 personnel from the respective training corps of the infantry school regiments, artillery, tanks, and reconnaissance school unit under the Fuji school brigade. The exercises also included the use of 80 tanks and armored vehicles, 80 artilleries, 30 aircraft, and 600 other vehicles (all figures stated are approximates).

Fire Power 2012 in FUJI
Scenario predicated on the defense of Japan’s islands
Scenario predicated on the defense of Japan’s islands

This exercise was predicated on the defense of Japan’s islands, and provided a simulation of anti-ship attack joint operations by the joint forces, involving P-3C patrol aircraft and unmanned reconnaissance aircraft FFRS, Type 88 SSM surface-to-ship missiles, as well as F-2 fighters. The cutting-edge Type 10 tanks that were first deployed to the forces in March this year also made an appearance, showing their highly sophisticated technological features such as the slalom firing that utilizes the high level of speed attained through the compact and lightweight nature of the tanks.

Slalom firing from Type 10 tanks
Slalom firing from Type 10 tanks

The demonstration was made up of two sections. The first section introduced the main military equipment used by GSDF, while the second section showed simulations of joint operations and cooperative combat between different occupations.

In the first section of the demonstration, actual firing was carried out using specialized long-range firepower, including Type 99 self-propelled 155mm howitzer, 155mm howitzer FH70, and self-propelled 203mm howitzer. In the tracer firing demonstration, which involved the detonation of artillery in mid-air, artillery was fired at close intervals to one another, marking the silhouette of Mt. Fuji a mere 3km in the air from the spectator seats. This demonstration drew loud cheers from the spectators. After a change in position, firing was carried out from mid-range firepower and 84mm recoilless rifles by infantry troops, as well as at close range from 35mm cannons on Type 89 armored fighting vehicles. Next, Type 90 tanks carried out firing while in motion, and four Type 10 tanks carried out firing while in motion through the sharing of information on their network systems, such as the position of the enemy.

In the second section of the demonstration, scenarios that predicated attacks from enemy vessels in the offshore islands were simulated. P-3C and unmanned reconnaissance aircraft FFRS carried out surveillance of targets set on the water and along the coast. After that, F-2 fighters that had received this information fired air-to-ship missiles. At the same time, GSDF fired surface-to-ship missiles as part of the joint exercise.

Simultaneous firing by the Tank Regiment
Simultaneous firing by the Tank Regiment

Next, as part of training against enemy landings, helicopter-borne attacks were conducted from CH-47J helicopters, while reconnaissance units and light armored vehicles conducted operations from the ground.

Motorcycles transported on UH-1 multipurpose helicopters also showed demonstrations of surveillance activities. In addition, personnel and high-mobility vehicles were dropped from UH-60JA multipurpose helicopters and CH-47JA large transportation helicopters, under cover of firing from AH-64D fighter helicopters. The personnel and high-mobility vehicles secured key positions, while Type 87 reconnaissance combat vehicles broke into enemy grounds under cover of fire support from special units and tanks. After various combat simulations were carried out, the demonstration concluded with an assault by all units led by companies in the Tank Regiment.

Achievement of 300,000 visitors for MOD Ichigayadai Tour, and introduction to the Ichigaya Memorial Hall (former headquarters of the Army Cadet School)

Achievement of 300,000 visitors for MOD Ichigayadai Tour, and introduction to the Ichigaya Memorial Hall (former headquarters of the Army Cadet School)
1.Building prior to relocation    2.Grand Hall    3.Inside the Memorial Hall    4.Exhibits in the Memorial Hall

The Ichigayadai site under the Ministry of Defense is located in Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo.

In 1894, the Army Cadet School was established on the Ichigayadai site. The School was relocated to Zama in 1937, and the premises were subsequently taken over by the Imperial General Headquarters Army Department, Ministry of Army, General Staff Office, and other organizations.

Construction of the headquarters of the Army Cadet School commenced in 1933. The building consisted of three floors, and the Grand Hall was situated at the back of the second floor in the central part of the building. After the relocation of the Army Cadet School, the left wing facing the main entrance housed the Ministry of Army, the central front portion of the second floor housed the office of the Minister of Army, and the right wing housed the General Staff Office.

After the conclusion of the WWⅡ, the building was requisitioned by the U.S. Forces. Between May 3, 1946 and November 12, 1948, the Grand Hall was used as the courtroom for the International Military Tribunal for the Far East (Tokyo trials). Thereafter, it was used as the Far East Command for the U.S. Forces and for other purposes. After the building was returned in 1959, it has been used as the GSDF Eastern Army Headquarters since 1960, among other purposes.

In 2000, the building was torn down in tandem with the move of the Ministry of Defense to Ichigayadai. However, a portion of the building, centered around the Grand Hall, was retained as a memorial hall. The building now has two floors, and the Grand Hall has been relocated to the first floor.

Currently, the building stands as the Ichigaya Memorial Hall, and the Grand Hall, ex-office of the Minister of Army, and “Binden-no-ma”, break room for Emperor , are open to the public. Various materials and documents are on exhibit in these areas.

The Ministry of Defense has organized a tour around Ichigayadai, and the tour course includes visits to the Honor Guard Ceremony Square, the Memorial Hall, and the Public-Information Exhibition Room, among other facilities.

The tour has welcomed many visitors not only from Japan, but also from abroad. As of August 24 this year, the number of visitors participating in the Ichigayadai Tour hit 300,000.

We look forward to welcoming more of our friends from overseas on the Ichigayadai Tour.

Ichigayadai Tour
Ichigayadai Tour
Achievement of 300,000 visitors for Ichigayadai Tour
Achievement of 300,000 visitors for Ichigayadai Tour
  • back
  • next