US, Japan Hold Joint Military Drills in Response to North Korean Missile Launch

Aldgra Fredly
By Aldgra Fredly
October 5USshare
US, Japan Hold Joint Military Drills in Response to North Korean Missile Launch
An F-2 fighter jet flies during a live fire exercise conducted by the Japan Ground Self-Defense Force (JGSDF) at East Fuji Maneuver Area on May 28, 2022 in Gotemba, Shizuoka, Japan. on May 28, 2022 in Gotemba, Japan. (Tomohiro Ohsumi/Getty Images)

The United States and Japan on Tuesday deployed fighter jets for joint exercises in response to North Korea’s test firing of a ballistic missile over Japan.

The drills were held in airspace west of Japan’s Kyushu region, involving eight Japanese fighter jets and four U.S. fighter jets, according to Japan’s Joint Staff.

In a statement [pdf], Japan’s Joint Staff said the security situation surrounding Japan has become “increasingly severe,” citing North Korea’s test-firing of a ballistic missile that flew over Japan early on Tuesday.

“The drills will confirm the Japanese and U.S. forces’ readiness, demonstrate the strong determination of Japan and the United States to deal with any situation, and further strengthen the deterrence of the Japan-U.S. alliance,” it stated.

Gen. Koji Yamazaki, chief of Japan’s Joint Staff, met with U.S. Indo-Pacific Command chief Adm. John Aquilino in Tokyo on Tuesday to discuss “concrete initiatives” for U.S.-Japan collaboration to ensure stability in the region.

U.S. forces also conducted a bilateral exercise with South Korean military on the same day.

North Korea on Tuesday launched a ballistic missile over Japan for the first time in five years, prompting Japan’s government to issue an emergency alert system warning people in several regions to take shelter.

Japan’s Defense Minister Yasukazu Hamada said the missile flew 4,600 kilometers (2,858 miles) at an altitude of 1,000 kilometers (621 miles), the longest-range missile that North Korea has launched so far, Kyodo News reported.

Kishida Holds Talks with Biden

Japan’s Prime Minister Fumio Kishida held phone talks with President Joe Biden after the missile launch and said that he condemned North Korea’s missile test “in the strongest terms” for destabilizing the region.

The White House said that both sides recognized the launch “as a danger to the Japanese people, destabilizing to the region, and a clear violation of United Nations Security Council resolutions.”

The two leaders agreed to closely coordinate their “immediate and longer-term response bilaterally, trilaterally with [South Korea], and with the international community,” it stated.

South Korea and the U.S. military fired four short-range missiles into the sea off the country’s east coast on Wednesday to showcase their “combined deterrent and dynamic strike capabilities” amid North Korea’s ongoing provocations.

“Our commitment to the defense of the Republic of Korea and Japan remains ironclad,” the U.S. Indo-Pacific Command said in a statement, referring to South Korea’s official name.

From The Epoch Times