Here’s some video from the exercise, with commentary thrown in as anotations. The video is not all that useful and more resembles B roll, but it’s all I got. I only had a few hours and was torn between filming tanks, conversations in English, conversations in Japanese, and conversations in English and Japanese.

This video started abruptly because these tanks literally came out of nowhere. We knew tanks were going to arrive, but I didn’t even notice them until about ten seconds before I started rolling film. Gas turbine FTW. Tanks stopped so they could figure out where to park.

Tanks parking. I believe this is 3rd Platoon, C Company, 1st Tank Battalion.

This last video is slightly interesting if you’re interested in how two armies that speak separate language operate together. This conversation should have lasted thirty seconds, tops, but due to difficulties the two sides had in understanding each other it took more like six minutes. I doubt the Marine lieutenant has ever heard heavily accented Japanese English in his life, and the Japanese trooper did not seem to have lot of experience speaking English. Nevertheless, they got it done.

I recommend you turn the volume way up–I tried to give them their space, and the Flip Cam doesn’t have a great mic.

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A contributor and editor at the blog War Is Boring, Kyle Mizokami started Japan Security Watch in 2010 to further understand Japan's defenses and security policy.
Kyle Mizokami has 578 post(s) on Japan Security Watch