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U.S. and Japan
Ambassador Rahm Emanuel Visits Hokkaido for Largest Ever Resolute Dragon Bilateral Field Training Exercise
October 27, 2023

To demonstrate the ironclad U.S. commitment to Japan’s defense and strengthening our security alliance in the face of rising threats in the region, Ambassador Rahm Emanuel visited the Yausubetsu Training Area in Hokkaido, Japan, on October 27 to observe the Resolute Dragon 23 bilateral field training exercise.

Resolute Dragon 23 (RD23) is a bilateral field training exercise between the Japan Self-Defense Force (JSDF) and the U.S. Marine Corps, with approximately 3,300 U.S. Marines and 4,000 JSDF members deployed to eight training areas throughout Japan, from Camp Yonaguni in Okinawa to Yausubetsu Training Area in Hokkaido.

“Resolute Dragon 23 stands as a powerful symbol, showcasing the steadfast dedication of both U.S. forces and our Japanese allies to ensure a free and open Indo-Pacific,” said Rahm Emanuel, U.S. Ambassador to Japan. “The exercise’s scale, scope, and skill demonstrate our dedication to maintaining peace and stability in the region through credible deterrence. The professionalism and unity displayed by every participant amplifies the enduring bond and strength that defines the U.S.-Japan Alliance.”

This is the third iteration of the Resolute Dragon series, following Resolute Dragon 21 and 22 taking place in northern Japan with the Northeastern and Northern Army of the Japan Ground Self-Defense Force (JGSDF), respectively. Resolute Dragon 23, in conjunction with the JGSDF Western Army, is the largest and most comprehensive Resolute Dragon exercise to date.

RD23 is designed to strengthen defense capabilities and interoperability between the U.S. Marine Corps and JSDF with an emphasis on air-ground integration and combined arms live-fire training. Exercise forces in RD23 will practice bilateral command, control, and multi-domain maneuver capabilities as part of the Stand-In Force in the First Island Chain.

“We are honored to train alongside our allies here in Yausubetsu,” noted U.S. Marine Corps Colonel Peter Eltringham, Commanding Officer of the 12th Marine Regiment based in Okinawa. “Training opportunities like this further enhance an already powerful partnership. Our close coordination and complementary capabilities allow us to respond to any crisis as an integrated, cohesive team. We are stronger together.  I look forward to continuing this outstanding training in the years to come, next time as the 12th Marine Littoral Regiment.”