Prior to kicking of the annual, bilateral, training exercise, known as Yama-Sakura, Noncommissioned Officers (NCOs) across America's First Corps, U.S. Army Japan, and the Japanese Ground Self Defense Force (JGSDF), met for an NCO Forum Dec. 1. I Corps NCOs and their Japanese counterparts discussed a variety of topics related to Soldier development and morale as well as the roles of the Noncommissioned Officer and the differences in responsibilities between the two Army's NCO Corps. Yama Sakura underscores the strength of the close, long-standing relationship the United States has with Japan and the JGSDF, and demonstrates the continuing commitment to deepen our strong ties and mutual friendship.