Japan, U.S. Hold Joint Air Drill over East China Sea


Tokyo, Sept. 28 (Jiji Press)--Japan's Air Self-Defense Force and the U.S. military held a joint drill over the East China Sea and the Sea of Japan on Thursday, the Defense Ministry's Air Staff Office said Friday.

Sixteen ASDF fighter jets, including F-15 fighters, and a U.S. B-52 strategic bomber took part in the exercise, the office said.

This is the first time that a joint exercise by the Air SDF and a U.S. B-52 bomber, capable of carrying nuclear weapons, over the East China Sea has been announced. The move is seen as a warning to China.

The East China Sea includes a group of uninhabited islets administered by Japan and claimed by China, called the Senkaku Islands in Japan and Diaoyu in China.

Four ASDF fighter jets each from the Naha base in Okinawa Prefecture, the Tsuiki base in Fukuoka Prefecture, the Komatsu base in Ishikawa Prefecture and the Chitose base in Hokkaido participated in the dill.

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Jiji Press