By Yusuke Tanabe
At a press conference on May 15, Defense Minister Taro Kono said that he will ease restrictions on training and exercises by the Self-Defense Forces (SDF) in the 39 prefectures where the state of emergency has been lifted. The suspended joint training among multiple units will be recommenced, and the restrictions on nonessential outings by the SDF members will also be eased.
During the press conference, the minister said, “I want to gradually return training to normal at places where the state of emergency has been removed.” Effective April 17, the Defense Ministry decided in principle to cancel or postpone training in which multiple units gather or in which more than half of the SDF members of a particular base participate. In the cases where multiple units nonetheless did conduct training, a large exercise range was used and the SDF divided the range into multiple areas.