Japan, U.S. Conduct Aerial Drill after N. Korean Missile Launch


Tokyo, Feb. 19 (Jiji Press)--The Japanese Air Self-Defense Force and the U.S. Air Force conducted a joint drill over the Sea of Japan on Sunday, following North Korea's intercontinental ballistic missile firing the previous day, Japan's Defense Ministry said.

The drill was apparently aimed at demonstrating the solidarity and response capabilities of the Japan-U.S. alliance, and keeping a check on Pyongyang.

Three F-15 fighter jets of the ASDF, and two B-1 bombers and four F-16 fighters of the U.S. Air Force conducted joint flights and confirmed procedures for coordinated operations, according to the ministry.

The exercise reaffirmed "the strong will" of Japan and the United States "to respond to any situation" and "the readiness" of the Japanese Self-Defense Forces and the U.S. military, and further strengthened the deterrence and response capabilities of the Japan-U.S. alliance amid "an increasingly severe security environment surrounding Japan," the ministry said.

The North Korean ICBM launched Saturday fell into waters within Japan's exclusive economic zone in the Sea of Japan.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press