Japan and the United States will undertake a joint military exercise in the western Pacific later this month in the wake of threats to Japanese sovereignty over its remote islands.
Forty Ground Self-Defense Force personnel will take part in the exercise with U.S. Marines stationed in Okinawa, reports quoting the Japanese Defense Ministry said on Friday.
The combined troops will travel 2,000 kilometers on a U.S. naval vessel to Tinian Island off the coast of the Northern Mariana Islands in the U.S. Commonwealth and conduct their first joint landing drill, using boats and helicopters on the island for about one month.
Japan hopes to boost its capability to defend its remote island territories, including those in south-western Japan, in view of China's growing presence in waters of the Asia-Pacific region. A close U.S. ally in the Asia-Pacific, Japan hosts nearly 50,000 U.S. Marines on its soil as part of a military pact. The country is now aiming at improving defense cooperation with the United States.
by RTT Staff Writer
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