AP

Japan, US hold joint arms drills amid China, N Korea worry

Nov 9, 2022, 11:03 PM | Updated: Nov 10, 2022, 4:34 am

TOKYO (AP) — Japan and the United States began a major joint military exercise Thursday in southern Japan as the allies aim to step up readiness in the face of China’s increasing assertiveness and North Korea’s intensifying missile launches.

The biennial “Keen Sword” drills kicked off at a Japanese air base in southern Japan and were also held at multiple other locations in and around Japan. They will run through Nov. 19.

About 26,000 Japanese and 10,000 American troops, as well as 30 vessels and 370 aircraft from both sides, are to participate in the drills, according to the Japanese Defense Ministry. Australia, Britain and Canada will also join parts of the drills, it said.

Joint field trainings that include amphibious landing exercises are planned on southwestern Japanese remote islands, including Tokunoshima, Amami and Tsutarajima, as Japan has been bolstering its defense capability in the region amid growing tensions over China.

China has reinforced its claims to virtually the entire South China Sea by constructing artificial islands equipped with military installations and airfields. Beijing also claims a string of islands that are controlled by Japan in the East China Sea, and has stepped up military harassment of self-ruled Taiwan, which it says is part of China to be annexed by force if necessary.

The joint exercise also comes on the heels of intensifying missile firings by North Korea, which has launched more than 30 of them this year, including one on Wednesday that fell in the sea between the Korean Peninsula and Japan. Last month, an intercontinental ballistic missile flew over northern Japan.

Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, citing worsening security in the region, has pledged to substantially increase Japanese military capability and possibly allow pre-emptive strike capability to attack enemy missile launch sites from afar. The plans are expected to be included in a revised national security strategy and mid- to long-term defense guidelines later this year.

A move to develop strike capability is a major shift for Japan’s self-defense-only principle, though the country has rapidly expanded its military’s role and capability in the past decade to work more closely with the United States and other partners in the region and Europe.

Exercises like Keen Sword provide Japanese and U.S. forces “opportunities to train together across a variety of mission areas in realistic scenarios to enhance readiness, interoperability, and build credible deterrence,” U.S. Forces Japan said in a statement Thursday.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

Houston storms cause widespread damage on Friday...

Associated Press

Some in Houston facing no power for weeks after storms cause widespread damage, killing at least 4

Houston storms cause widespread damage on Friday, May 17. Thunderstorms hit the southeastern part of Texas, killing at least four people.

21 hours ago

Man gets 30 years in prison for attacking ex-Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s husband with a hammer...

Associated Press

Man gets 30 years in prison for attacking ex-Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s husband with a hammer

A man has been sentenced to 30 years in prison for attacking the husband of then-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi with a hammer.

22 hours ago

audio from President Joe Biden’s interview about classified documents blocked...

Associated Press

GOP advances Garland contempt charges after White House exerts executive privilege over Biden audio

The move to release audio from President Joe Biden’s interview about classified documents was blocked on Thursday by the White House.

2 days ago

Asylum processing for new migrants: Changes could come soon...

Associated Press

The Biden administration is planning more changes to quicken asylum processing for new migrants

The Biden administration is planning to quicken the asylum processing for new migrants as an interim step rather than an executive order.

3 days ago

Record-setting rally for U.S. stocks reflects inflation slowing down...

Associated Press

Stock market today: Asian shares advance after another round of Wall St records

The S&P 500 jumped 1.2% to top its prior high set a month and a half ago. This move reflects a record-setting rally for U.S. stocks.

3 days ago

This combo image shows President Joe Biden, left, Jan. 5, 2024, and Republican presidential candida...

Associated Press

Biden and Trump agree to hold presidential debates in June and in September

President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump have agreed to hold two campaign debates, on June 27 hosted by CNN and on Sept. 10 hosted by ABC.

3 days ago

Sponsored Articles

...

DESERT INSTITUTE FOR SPINE CARE

Desert Institute for Spine Care is the place for weekend warriors to fix their back pain

Spring has sprung and nothing is better than March in Arizona. The temperatures are perfect and with the beautiful weather, Arizona has become a hotbed for hikers, runners, golfers, pickleball players and all types of weekend warriors.

...

Midwestern University

Midwestern University Clinics: transforming health care in the valley

Midwestern University, long a fixture of comprehensive health care education in the West Valley, is also a recognized leader in community health care.

...

Fiesta Bowl Foundation

The 51st annual Vrbo Fiesta Bowl Parade is excitingly upon us

The 51st annual Vrbo Fiesta Bowl Parade presented by Lerner & Rowe is upon us! The attraction honors Arizona and the history of the game.

Japan, US hold joint arms drills amid China, N Korea worry