Japanese Ground Self-Defense Force and the U.S. Marine Corps have been conducting remote island defense drills amid tenesions with Russia.
According to local media, the GSDF’s Amphibious Rapid Deployment Brigade and the Okinawa-based U.S. 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit have been conducting drills over three weeks since March 4.
The drills assume the training site in Shizuoka Prefecture is an island held by enemy forces and Wednesday’s programs included the Japanese amphibious brigade passing on information to the Marines to help the fighter jet locate and engage targets.
Also noted that an F-35 stealth fighter jet belonging to the U.S. Marine Corps for the first time participated in an exercise with the GSDF.
As U.S. Marine Corps said, F-35B Lightning II’s with Marine Fighter Attack Squadron (VMFA) 121 were paticipeted in joinly exercises simulating close air support at Camp Fuji, Japan.
“Marine Corps aviation routinely conducts training throughout the region to remain combat-ready in support of a free and open Indo-Pacific and to demonstrate our commitment to the Treaty of Mutual Cooperation and Security between the U.S. and Japan,” said in statement.
Meanwhile, the Russian military said Friday it has started a military exercise involving more than 3,000 troops on a chain of islands including those disputed with Japan.
It is the first drill on the disputed islands off Japan’s northernmost main island of Hokkaido since Russia’s Foreign Ministry announced earlier this week it will suspend territorial talks with Japan.