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France, Japan ground troops conduct 1st joint drills in Pacific

New Caledonia exercise named after officer who inspired 'The Last Samurai'

Japanese Self-Defense Force members take part in Brunet Takamori 2023 in New Caledonia. (Photo courtesy of France’s Pacific Marine Infantry Regiment of New Caledonia)

TOKYO -- France and Japan have begun a three-week military drill in the Pacific, the first such exercise between their respective ground forces on French soil, aimed at deepening coordination among the like-minded partners.

"Brunet-Takamori 2023" started on Sept. 10 in French New Caledonia, with France's New Caledonian Armed Forces and Japan's Self-Defense Forces working side by side, conducting live-fire drills and coordinating communication. Beginning next Monday, during the last week of drills, the two sides will conduct in-field training that simulates operations in civilian areas.

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