Today’s Pic of the Day is a shot of three Japanese sailors firing their Howa Type 89 rifles from the deck of a ship.

The Howa Type 89 rifle, often referred to as the Type 89 Assault Rifle, is a Japanese-made firearm used by the Japan Self-Defense Forces. It was designed and manufactured by Howa Machinery, Ltd. The Type 89 was introduced in 1989 to replace the older Type 64 battle rifles.

Here are some key features and details about the Type 89:

  1. Caliber and Operation: The Type 89 fires the 5.56×45mm NATO cartridge. It operates on a gas-operated, rotating bolt system, which is similar to many Western-designed rifles.
  2. Design: It features a selective fire capability, allowing for single shots or three-round burst fire, unlike many modern assault rifles, which often include a full-automatic mode.
  3. Construction: The rifle is made predominantly from steel and has a plastic stock, which includes a folding butt that makes it more compact for storage and transport.
  4. Attachments and Sights: The Type 89 is equipped with a bayonet lug and can mount a Type 06 rifle grenade. It typically uses iron sights but can be fitted with various optical sights.
  5. Usage: It is primarily used by the Japan Ground Self-Defense Force (JGSDF) and is not commonly exported due to Japan’s strict arms export laws.

The Type 89 Assault Rifle reflects Japan’s specific defense needs and constraints, including limited offensive capability and a focus on self-defense in line with its pacifist constitution.