A Japanese Self-Defense Force combat vehicle with the firepower of a tank has crossed a public road in the city of Naha, Okinawa Prefecture, southwestern Japan.
This is the first time that a maneuver combat vehicle, or MCV, has been driven on a public road on Okinawa's main island.
Japan's Ground, Maritime and Air Self-Defense Forces started large-scale exercises in Okinawa and elsewhere around the country on Friday. The drills run through November 20 and involve about 30,000 SDF members and some 10,000 US troops.
On Friday, a C-2 transport aircraft landed at Naha Airport, carrying the MCV from Hokkaido, northern Japan.
Shortly before 1 a.m. on Saturday, a gate of the Naha Air Base, which is adjacent to the airport, opened. The MCV then crossed a public road and entered Camp Naha, while around 10 SDF personnel controlled traffic.
MCVs have the firepower of a tank and travel on tires instead of caterpillar tracks.
The Okinawa prefectural government says large-scale exercises that involve the use of public roads make residents uneasy.
The Okinawa government has verbally conveyed its concern to the Defense Ministry's Okinawa Defense Bureau and is requesting that local municipalities and residents be given necessary information.