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Taiwan threat tears down silos at Japan's Self-Defense Forces

Ground and maritime troops increasingly train together to face new challenges

The Osumi-class tank landing ship JS Shimokita took on board Ground Self-Defense Force soldiers in camouflage gear during a recent exercise. (Photo courtesy of the Maritime Self-Defense Force) 

TOKYO -- The ground, maritime and air components of Japan's Self-Defense Forces have traditionally been siloed. There is rarely any swap of personnel between them and when they do come together for a meeting at the Ministry of Defense in Tokyo's Ichigaya district, they attend in their respective uniforms.

They use different lingo. They salute in different ways. The maritime bunch famously love their curry. Other branches have their own favorite lunches.

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