Japanese, US militaries launch major joint drills amid growing N. Korea tensions

RT – June 1, 2017

The Japanese and US militaries have teamed up for a three-day exercise in the Sea of Japan, in a show of force just days after North Korea launched a ballistic missile which landed in Japan’s exclusive economic zone.

The ‘USS Carl Vinson’ and ‘USS Ronald Reagan’ strike groups have joined Japanese destroyers ‘Hyuga’ and ‘Ashigara’ for the exercise.

In a post on its Facebook page, the US 7th Fleet described the drills as “routine training.”

“The Ronald Reagan and Carl Vinson Strike Groups were joined by the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Forces (JMSDF) for routine training to improve interoperability and readiness in the Indo-Asia Pacific,” it wrote.

The Japanese military confirmed in a release that its destroyers had joined the US vessels, according to Reuters.

“It’s the first time we have exercised with two carriers. It’s a major exercise for us,” a Japanese military spokesman said, according to the news outlet.