12:48 GMT +325 September 2017
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    Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70)

    Tickling Dragon's Underbelly: Japan, US Holding Navy Drills in East China Sea

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    The US Navy and Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force ships are conducting joint drills in the East China Sea.

    TOKYO (Sputnik) — The exercises, which kicked off unannounced on Tuesday, are focusing on interactions and communications in the event of hostilities, the Kyodo news agency reported on Friday, citing government sources.

    Japanese patrol ships and the US Navy's USS Carl Vinson aircraft carrier are taking part, according to the outlet. The carrier had arrived in Asia to take part in the ongoing Foal Eagle field training exercise with South Korea despite Chinese protests.

    The US-Japanese drills are taking place amid increased South-North Korean tensions and the North's repeated ballistic missile launches in violation of UN Security Council resolutions. Japan has also been deeply concerned with the situation on the Korean peninsula.

    Japan's relations with China are tense due to a territorial dispute over the Senkaku Islands in the East China Sea. China stepped up military activity in the area over recent weeks, with over a dozen Chinese jets approaching Japanese airspace near Okinawa.

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    Tags:
    military drills, USS Carl Vinson, Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF), US Navy, East China Sea, China, Japan, United States
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