US and Japan conduct defense drill amidst regional tensions

Mark Ross
By Mark Ross
March 10, 2017World News

The Japanese Self-Defense Force (JSDF) and U.S. Marine Corps took part in a biannual joint military drill on Friday (March 10) amid heightened tensions in the region.

The Japanese CH-47 Chinook was used by U.S. Marines, and the American UH-60 Black Hawk by the JSDF during securing landing zone exercises and casualty evacuation drills at the Japan Ground Self-Defense Force Camp in Soumagahara.

“Our military cooperation is built to build the trust between us so that we can be interoperable and they understand our equipment and we can understand their equipment so that when we need to operate together, it’s much more seamless,” said Lieutenant Colonel Ryan Hoyle, a Battalion Commander for the Second Battalion Third Marines.

North Korea fired four intercontinental ballistic missiles on Monday (March 6) which landed in Japan’s exclusive economic zone, triggering further unease within the already tense region.

“At the military level, I think much of the things that we do are just underscored as to the importance that we continue that cooperation amongst our allies in this region,” Hoyle said.

U.S. President Donald Trump said in February that the United States was committed to the security of Japan and strengthening the two countries’ alliance, abruptly setting aside previous pledges to force Tokyo to pay more for U.S. defense aid.


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