Originally 6 months in duration, the Japanese parachutist training course has been intensified and shortened under German supervision. The basic training of the parachute troops in the Canton area, in March 1941, consisted of five stages. The first stage began with somersaults and the second stage with jumps from a table, the height gradually increasing to 12 feet. In the third stage, troops jumped from platforms from 12 to 25 feet high onto sand pits. The fourth stage progressed to controlled parachute jumps from a 350-foot tower, the parachute being attached to the tower by a rope.1 Parachutists were given about 3 months of preliminary training before jumps from aircraft were made. During these 3 months they attended classes in geography, topography, foreign languages, and communications, and, in addition, gained experience as passengers in different types of aircraft. The fifth stage of training consisted of "first" jumps from slow-flying aircraft at 4,000 feet. Later jumps were made at lower altitudes, and from faster aircraft. Jumpers were trained to delay opening of the parachute until 250 to 350 feet from the ground. They were told that such timing reduced the time of exposure to cold, and eliminated to some degree drift and danger of ground fire. The standard aimed at is said to be 12 men jumping in 10 seconds, as a transport covers a distance of approximately 730 yards during that time. Equipment carried by troops was increased as training advanced.