Akaitama sent in this photo taken at Iron Fist 2015, an amphibious training exercise undertaken by the Japan Ground Self Defense Force and the US Marines. The JDF troops are using the standard issue Howa Type 89 rifle: with its 420mm barrel, screwed-on top rail, old-style selector switch and a Trijicon ACOG TA31RMR.
Last year, unbeknown to us until now, a new modernized model of the Type 89 was exhibited at a Japanese Defense expo last year. The rifle featured a full length rail, side rails and a new selector switch. What is really surprising is it appeared to have been made by non other than Tokyo Marui, a large airsoft manufacturer. Given Japan’s ban on military exports (recently removed) and the fact that very few people are allowed to own guns, Tokyo Marui probably has more experience in designing firearms (or at least the look and feel) than any other Japanese company.
Thanks Akaitama for sharing.