TOKYO – Warships from Japan’s Maritime Self Defense Force have been making stops at the American naval base at Pearl Harbor for more than two decades. But it’s going to seem strange, indeed, when Japanese ground troops clamor aboard this weekend.
Three of the newest and largest ships in the JMSDF arrived at Pearl Harbor on Thursday. Several-hundred ground troops from Japan’s Western Army Infantry Regiment will link up with the ships after flying in from bases in Kyushu. The flotilla will continue on to southern California, where the troops will take part in several weeks of amphibious warfare training with U.S. Marines.