Exercise Yama Sakura 61

Monday January 30, 2012

What is it?

U.S. Army Pacific's Yama Sakura is an annual, bilateral exercise between Japanese and U.S. military forces. Yama Sakura 61 is a U.S. Army simulation-driven joint-bilateral command post exercise. This is the 30th iteration of the Japan-based exercise series.

What has the Army done?

Since inception in 1982, the exercise has focused on the development and refinement of the Japan Ground Self Defense Force (JGSDF) and U.S. Army - Japan efforts in the areas of bilateral planning, coordination, and interoperability through training. Yama Sakura 61 (YS61) will be conducted at Camp Itami, Japan, from Jan. 30 to Feb. 5, 2012. Elements of the U.S. Army Pacific's Contingency Command Post, U.S. Army Japan, I Corps (Forward), and Japan's Middle Army will participate in YS61. Approximately 800 U.S. forces and 3,500 JGSDF personnel are participating in YS61. This year, Soldiers from the Eighth Army in South Korea will participate. This exercise exemplifies a continued commitment by the U.S. and Japan to work as dedicated partners in support of the U.S.-Japan Security Alliance, and for continued peace and stability in the Asia-Pacific Region.

Yama Sakura 61 has four objectives:
(1) Train U.S. ground forces for deployment to Japan in the event of contingencies
(2) Exercise JSDF and U.S. capabilities for the Defense of Japan
(3) Prepare U.S. forces for combined, multi-national and joint full spectrum tactical operations
(4) Increase interoperability between U.S. forces and the JSDF

What continued efforts does the Army have planned for the future?

This exercise is proof of the strength of the United States' close, long-standing relationship with Japan and the JGSDF. As both nations celebrate the 52nd anniversary of the Treaty of Mutual Cooperation and Security between the United States and Japan, Yama Sakura shows how U.S. Army Pacific is looking to the future and continuing to deepen its strong ties of mutual support and friendship. The U.S.-Japan alliance is committed to responding to regional and global crises, and continues to evolve to meet future challenges.

Why is this important to the Army?

Yama Sakura exercise is designed to strengthen military operations and ties between the U.S. forces and the Japan Self Defense Forces at the tactical level and exercise mutual capabilities in the defense of Japan. Japan is a close and valuable ally of the United States. The United States is dedicated to helping Japan defend her territories. The Asia-Pacific region is vital to the United States culturally, economically and in all things concerning national security. The United States-Japan alliance is the bedrock of regional security in Northeast Asia, and the United States and Japan will continue to strengthen their cooperation in wide-ranging areas of common interest in changing security environments.


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