Japan, US Conduct Joint Drills With 8 Fighter Jets Over Sea of Japan
© AP Photo / Eugene HoshikoJapan's F-2 fighter jets fly in formation during the annual Self-Defense Forces Commencement of Air Review at Hyakuri Air Base, north of Tokyo, Sunday, Oct. 26, 2014.
© AP Photo / Eugene Hoshiko
MOSCOW (Sputnik) - Japan and the United States have undertaken a joint tactical military exercise in the airspace of the Sea of Japan with participation of eight fighter jets to demonstrate the allied forces’ readiness to bounce regional threats, the Japanese Joint Staff (JJS) announced on Thursday.
"The JSDF [Japan Self-Defense Forces] and U.S. Armed Forces conducted the Bilateral Exercise as described below. This Exercise affirms readiness of JSDF and U.S. Armed Forces and further strengthens the capacity of [Japan]-U.S. alliance," the JJS said in statement.
The drills were conducted on Wednesday with participation of four of Japan's F-15 fighter aircraft and four US fighters F-16.
"JSDF and U.S. Armed Forces routinely cooperate closely in peacetime and maintain high levels of operational readiness to respond to any situation to defend our nation and contribute to peace and stability," the read.
In turn, the US Indo-Pacific Command said the drills sought "to showcase combined capabilities to deter and counter regional threats" as well as to demonstrate the US forces’ rapid reaction capabilities and "credible deterrent capacity."
"The United States and Japan remain committed to jointly working to ensure peace and security throughout the Indo-Pacific region," the US command said.
Japanese news agency Kyodo noted that the drills occurred in the wake of another round of North Korean missile tests on Wednesday, while also not ruling out that the overflight could have come as a response to Chinese and Russian military aircraft patrolling areas in the Sea of Japan and the East China Sea.