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Aug 12, 2014

U.S. Marines and soldiers with the Japan Ground Self Defense Force shake hands following the conclusion of the Japan Observer Exchange Program (JOEP) at Camp Hansen, Aug. 7. The JGSDF soldiers integrated with Battalion Landing Team 3rd Battalion, 5th Marines, 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit, as part of JOEP since June 23. The involvement of the JGSDF soldiers in the MEU’s regularly-scheduled training comes in response to the April 2012 U.S.-Japan Security Consultative Committee, also known as the 2+2, statement calling for the enhancement of the Asia-Pacific Region’s security and defense cooperation. The 31st MEU is the Nation’s force in readiness for the Asia-Pacific region and is the only continuously forward deployed MEU.

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31st Marine Expeditionary Unit