Japan Self-Defense Force conducts large-scale live-fire drills in central Japan

Japan's Ground Self-Defense Force held its annual live-fire exercises at the foot of Mount Fuji in central Japan on Sunday.

Some 2,100 personnel and 53 vehicles, including tanks, took part in the 66th drills of their kind at the GSDF's Higashi-Fuji training camp in Shizuoka Prefecture.

The premise of the exercises was a supposed invasion of a remote Japanese island.

Drones were flown in to reconnoiter the area, and targets were bombarded.

Osprey transport aircraft also took part in the drills.

The tilt-rotor transport aircraft had been grounded since a fatal crash last November, when a CV-22 Osprey from the US Yokota Air Base in Tokyo crashed into the sea off Yakushima Island in the southwestern prefecture of Kagoshima, killing all eight crewmembers on board.

The US military and the GSDF resumed flights of the Osprey in March.

When the Ospreys landed, armed crewmembers exited their aircraft in order and took up their positions.

Officials say by the conclusion of the drills, they will have expended 68 tons of ammunition worth about 840 million yen, or 5.35 million dollars.