On October 28, about 47,000 troops of the Japan Self-Defense Force and more than 10,000 US servicemen united to launch the Keen Sword 19 military exercise – the biggest drill of its kind since the biennial joint maneuvers in 1986.
The US forces participating in the drill include vessles from of the Seventh Fleet, as well as the Submarine Group 7 – both of which are based in Japan’s Yokosuka. Japan employed roughly a fifth of its of its military. Two Canadian warships are also taking part in the drills.
“Keen Sword will give U.S. and Japanese forces an opportunity to practice critical air, maritime and amphibious capabilities essential for Japan’s defense and for regional security. Just as important, the exercise is a visible demonstration of the strength and durability of the U.S-Japan Alliance and our shared pursuit of a Free and Open Indo-Pacific region.
This year’s exercise will feature dozens of U.S. and Japanese ships, hundreds of aircraft and around 57,000 personnel from both nations, all committed to working together to enhance crisis response capabilities and improve readiness,” U.S. Forces Japan said in a statement.
The military drills are taking place amid the growing tensions between the US-led bloc and China. The Trump administration is engaged in the deep conflict with the adminsitration in diplomatic, economic and military spheres. The tensions are specially high in the South China Sea where Beijing claims a large portion of the area using artificial islands. The US seems this effort as a challenge for its global dominance but hardly can do something right now.