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.
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.