CAMP ZAMA, Japan (Nov. 19, 2018) - U.S. Army Medical Activity - Japan hosted its annual bilateral medical conference here Nov. 14, during which U.S. and Japanese medical personnel received updates on a variety of relevant topics and issues.

U.S. Soldiers joined more than a dozen Japan Ground Self-Defense Force senior medical officers from the Ground Staff Office and Ground Component Command at the Camp Zama Community Club to discuss the Defense Health Agency, the Armed Services Blood Program and the U.S. Army dental care system. Attendees also received an overview of the JGSDF's medical capabilities, as well as the current state of lifesaving support and multilateral joint exercises.

Col. Marvin Emerson, MEDDAC-J commander, said the objective of the conference is to exchange new ideas and tactical, strategical and operational medical information between the U.S. Army and the JGSDF.

"Another important part is to ensure that we have interoperability," said Emerson.

Emerson said meetings like the conference help both sides understand each other's medical system and "operate together smoothly and flawlessly in the event that support is needed in any category- humanitarian relief, disaster relief and even defense."

Maj. Gen. Masahisa Kawaguchi, director of the Medical Department Ground Staff Office, said he would like to continue to have in-depth discussions on common themes and issues both sides deal with, in order to learn from each other.

"We have many more opportunities to work closely with the U.S. Army compared to before," said Kawaguchi. "Therefore, conferences like this definitely help strengthen the face-to-face relationship between the U.S. Army and the JGSDF, and it benefits both sides."