Dozens of American and Japanese fighter planes witnessed violence


A dozen of the U.S. Air Force’s top F-22 stealth fighters, four F-35 stealth jets and 13 F-15 jets participated in the exercises, Japan’s defense ministry said in a press release Thursday.

The US fighter jets were joined by 20 Japanese F-15 and F-2 fighters and three US reconnaissance and support aircraft.

The Japanese and US fighter jets flew in the skies over the Sea of ​​Japan, the Pacific Ocean and the East China Sea in an effort to improve tactical skills and “joint responsiveness,” Japan’s defense ministry said.

The U.S. Air Force did not immediately comment on this week’s exercises, but the agency said in a press release last month that it had sent 12 Hawaii Air National Guard F-22s to Kadena Air Base in Okinawa.

The F-22s were in Japan “on several missions to enhance operational readiness to defend Japan and ensure a free and open Indo-Pacific,” the US statement said.

Also this week, US and Japanese maritime patrol aircraft conducted an exercise near the Nansei Islands, Japan’s closest territory to Taiwan, and near the Senkaku Islands, the uninhabited chain of islands also claimed by China, which they claim. refers as the Diaoyus.

That exercise was conducted to “strengthen the Japan-US alliance’s ability for effective deterrence,” the Japanese statement said.

According to the Japanese Ministry of Defense, the Chinese coastguard and naval vessels have spent record amounts in the waters around the Senkakus this year.

China’s Foreign Ministry told CNN earlier this year that China’s Coast Guard patrols in the waters around the islands were “an appropriate exercise of China’s sovereign right.”

Meanwhile, Chinese and Russian warships have increased their presence around Japan in recent weeks.
Late last month, Tokyo said a total of eight Chinese and Russian ships had been spotted in waters off Japan.

A Russian fleet of five ships sailed for a week near Japanese islands, from Hokkaido in the north to Okinawa in the south, the ministry said in a press release.

Meanwhile, at least two Chinese warships and a supply ship were spotted in the Izu Islands, about 500 kilometers (310 miles) south of the capital Tokyo. One of those ships turned out to be the Lhasa, a Type 55 guided missile destroyer and one of China’s most powerful surface ships.

This week’s exercises come as the US Air Force has moved some of its most vital assets to the Indo-Pacific.

Two B-2 stealth bombers deployed from their base in Missouri to Royal Australian Air Force Base Amberley, where they will conduct “training missions and strategic deterrence missions with allies, partners and joint forces in support of a free and open Indo-Pacific,” US Pacific Air Forces (PACAF) said in a statement on Sunday.

“This deployment of the B-2 to Australia demonstrates and enhances the preparedness and lethality of our long-range penetrating strike force,” Lieutenant Colonel Andrew Kousgaard, commander of the 393rd Expeditionary Bomb Squadron, said in the PACAF statement.

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