Japan and the United States have launched large-scale military drills in the southeastern prefectures of Kyushu and Okinawa and the northern island of Hokkaido to practice defending distant islands, Japanese broadcaster NHK reported on Saturday.
The joint maneuvers will last until the end of the month and will involve about 6,400 troops, the broadcaster reported. During the drills, the US military will for the first time be positioned on the Japanese island of Ishigaki, which is close to Taiwan, the report read.
The drills will also feature the US’s Osprey V-22 military aircraft for the first time, which will practice evacuating injured soldiers, the broadcaster reported. The exercises are taking place in response to China’s allegedly increasing local activity, the broadcaster added.