|Yama Sakura 61||HOMEPAGE|
Yama Sakura Exercise History|
By Dave Hilkert
Yama Sakura (Japanese for "Mountain Cherry Blossom") is an annual, bilateral Command Post Exercise that simulates Japanese-US military operations required to defend Japan. Every winter, one of the five regional Japan Ground Self-Defense Force (JGSDF) Armies is joined by US Army, Pacific, to conduct the exercise in Japan and the US.
Since Yama Sakura's inception in 1982, exercises have focused on the development and refinement of JGSDF and US Army Japan (USARJ) bilateral planning, coordination, and interoperability through training.
Yama Sakura 1 was held in 1982 with a total of 570 US Soldiers participating. Although each subsequent event has grown in scope and complexity, the mission remains unchanged from its beginning: "To conduct a joint/bilateral command post exercise (CPX) with JGSDF and US forces to train for the bilateral defense of Japan."
More than 1,200 US Army Soldiers and nearly 4,500 members of the JGSDF conducted Yama Sakura 55 in Japan and Hawaii December 7-14, 2008.