U.S. Army Japan Commanding General visits Northern Army; builds relationships to increase interoperability
1 / 3 Show Caption + Hide Caption – The Commanding General of U.S. Army Japan, Maj. Gen. J.B. Vowell (left), meets with Director General Saburo Ishikura at the Hokkaido Defense Bureau in Sapporo, Japan, August 23, to promote information sharing and cooperation. Vowell travelled to the Hokkaido region of Japan, Aug. 22-24, to discuss future security cooperation and bilateral training opportunities with the Northern Army of the Japan Ground Self Defense Force. (U.S. Army Photo by Maj. Frank Camara) (Photo Credit: Maj. Devon Thomas) VIEW ORIGINAL
U.S. Army Japan Commanding General visits Northern Army; builds relationships to increase interoperability
2 / 3 Show Caption + Hide Caption – The Commanding General of U.S. Army Japan, J.B. Vowell (left), meets with Northern Army Commanding General, Lt. Gen. Yoshihiko Okimura at the Japan Ground Self Defense Force Northern Army headquarters on Camp Sapporo, Japan on August 23 to discuss methods of improving interoperability. Vowell travelled to the Hokkaido region in Japan, Aug. 22-24, to discuss future security cooperation and bilateral training opportunities with the JGSDF. (U.S. Army by Maj. Frank Camara) (Photo Credit: Maj. Devon Thomas) VIEW ORIGINAL
U.S. Army Japan Commanding General visits Northern Army; builds relationships to increase interoperability
3 / 3 Show Caption + Hide Caption – The Commanding General of U.S. Army Japan, J.B. Vowell (center), meets with Northern Army Commanding General Lt. Gen. Yoshihiko Okimura (center-left) at the Japan Ground Self Defense Force Northern Army headquarters on Camp Sapporo, Japan on August 23 to enhance security cooperation and discuss methods of improving interoperability. (U.S. Army Photo by Maj. Frank Camara) (Photo Credit: Maj. Devon Thomas) VIEW ORIGINAL

CAMP ZAMA, JAPAN--U.S. Army Maj. Gen. J. B. Vowell, Commanding General of U.S. Army Japan, traveled to Hokkaido, Japan, Aug. 22-24.

Vowell met with the Commanding General of the Japan Ground Self-Defense Force (JGSDF) Northern Army, Lt. Gen. Yoshihiko Okimura, and Director General Saburo Ishikura from the Hokkaido Defense Bureau to discuss future security cooperation and bilateral training opportunities.

"Our most important mission is to partner with the JGSDF. Japan is our anchoring frontline ally in the region. Our relationship is crucial to maintaining a free and open Indo-Pacific," Vowell said.

Vowell also toured the Northern Army Yausubetsu Training Area with Lt. Gen. Hiroe Jiro, the commander of the JGSDF Training Evaluation Research and Development Command, their training and education headquarters.

Yausubetsu provides opportunities for ground forces to perform bilateral maneuver and live fire training in an Arctic environment. The U.S. Army conducted its first HIMARS live-fire in Japan in June 2021 at the training area during the annual bilateral Orient Shield exercise.

Vowell also met with Principal Official Mark Wuebbels at the U.S. Consulate General in Sapporo to discuss opportunities to strengthen the U.S.-Japan alliance.

Command Sgt. Maj. Jerry Dodson, the U.S. Army Japan Command Sergeant Major, visited senior enlisted leaders during the trip. He participated in a senior enlisted exchange with leaders from the JGSDF Ground Staff Office and the Northern Army.

"Through increased interoperability, information sharing and expanded access across the region, we present a credible and interoperable deterrent force to the adversary in competition, crisis and conflict," Vowell said.