Soldiers from the Honourable Artillery Company have deployed to Fuji Training Camp where they met with their counterparts from the Japanese Ground Self Defence Force, say the MoD.

Exercise VIGILANT ISLES began with a joint helicopter drill where troops from both nations demonstrated their rapid reaction capability. The training continues for the next fortnight in Ojijihara, north of the city of Sendai, a five-hour drive from Tokyo.

According to a release, the MoD say that troops will be deployed to observation posts in the rural training area to simulate a joint operation involving a similar number of Japanese soldiers. The exercise will focus on sharing tactics and surveillance techniques.

Lt. General Patrick Sanders, Commander Field Army, visited the British troops, he said:

“It’s important to remember that the British army works alongside its allies around the world and trains with many of its security partners.

Japan remains one of our most important strategic partners in the Asia-Pacific region and we welcome the opportunity to develop strong bi-lateral ties as well as demonstrate the UK’s approach to joint exercises. No nation operates alone and we want to assure Japan that they will not have to fight alone either.

Stability in Asia is essential to stability around the world and the UK is opposed to any change in the status quo by force. This exercise is designed to promote peace and stability in the region with our natural partners whose values of respect and democracy we share.”

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I’m pretty sure they were there 70 years ago, with the occupational force and I’m sure they trained then!


Depends how you define ‘exercise’ I guess, not sure a serious exercise would have been a priority back then or probably very sensitive to the situation, it was more a political statement surely and one dominated by the Americans at that.

Cam hunter

British troops seem to be training all over the globe right now!, it’s a great thing, and we should start to consider increasing the army’s numbers again but we do have 117,000 deployable army troops and the army reserves are better trained and equipped these days so operate like normal troops. But we should have 150,000 minimum full time troops and 50,000 army reserves. And we still have the 140,000 ex army reserves that can be called up in times of need.


@Cam Hunter
The UK does NOT have 117,000 deployable Army troops. Regular Army strength is in the region of 72,000. Reserve Army strength at 12 months readiness following a Queen’s Order to mobilise is approximately 25,000. I doubt there is both the political will and Treasury contingency fund for a mobilisation Act of Parliament. And many troops are on strength yet simply not deployable. Small deployments make big headlines yet are unlikely to deter aggressors. You point, however, is well made. Investment is needed.


50,000 Army Reserves! I don’t think Defence has the capacity to deliver all the Adventure Training and Battlefield Tours they would be doing.

john martin

I am not going back ok.


In my mind, there are two types of war, there is the total war situation, where we have to pull on everything we have and there is the political overseas war, which are the realistic wars we have fought outside the falklands for 70 years. I question how many troops we really have for the later, with the recent past telling us we need to be able to deploy 20-30k over a long period but are struggling to deploy more than 10k and even then the equipment isn’t there to support it. We know no more money is coming, so… Read more »


15 troops from the HAC! An exercise preceded by pointless!