US Strike Group and Japanese Warship Hold Joint Naval Drills in the South China Sea

The U.S. Navy on Monday said the Carrier Strike Group (CSG) 1, together with Japan’s Maritime Self-Defense Force Izumo-class helicopter destroyer, JS Kaga, have been carrying out flight operations, coordinated tactical training between surface and air units, and maritime strike exercises in the South China Sea this week.

“The Indo-Pacific is a dynamic region and by continuing to conduct routine operations with our allies and partners throughout international waters and airspace, we demonstrate our unwavering commitment to upholding international law, on the sea and in the air, and to ensuring that all nations can do the same without fear or contest,” Commander of the USS Carl Vinson strike group, Rear Admiral Daniel Martin said

The joint military exercise came days after China and Russia wrapped up joint drills in the South China Sea with ten naval vessels and six helicopters from the two countries.

Cheung Mong, an associate professor with the School of International Liberal Studies at Waseda University in Japan, said that the U.S. Navy was highlighting its alliance with Japan in response to the recent activity by China and Russia.

“Both the U.S. and Japan have attempted to highlight their partnerships when dealing with China, with the U.S. hoping that Japan will play an active role in the Taiwan contingency, while Tokyo wants Washington’s support in the Diaoyu Islands issue,” Cheung said

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