U.S., Japan conclude joint drills in disputed South China Sea

Japan Times -- Jun 17
The Defense Ministry announced Friday that the Maritime Self-Defense Force's largest warship, the Izumo helicopter carrier, wrapped up three days of joint drills with the aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan in the disputed South China Sea.
The exercises, which ended Thursday and also saw the MSDF destroyer Sazanami take part, were an apparent show of naval force in the strategic waters. Beijing claims almost all of the South China Sea, where it has built up and militarized a string of man-made islands, stoking concern among regional claimants.

U.S. "freedom of navigation" patrols in the sea have angered Beijing as it seeks to reinforce effective control of much of the waters, through which $5 trillion in trade passes each year. The Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia, Taiwan and Brunei also have overlapping claims.

China has also ramped up naval and air operations in the area, sending bombers and fighter jets on "combat patrols" that Beijing has called a "regular practice."

While Japan and the U.S. do not have any territorial disputes in the South China Sea, Tokyo is embroiled in a separate row with Beijing in the East China Sea over the Senkaku Islands, which are claimed as Diaoyu by China and Tiaoyutai by Taiwan. - Japan Times

海上自衛隊は、アメリカ海軍の空母「ロナルド・レーガン」と南シナ海で共同訓練したことを発表しました。海洋進出を強める中国を牽制(けんせい)する狙いがあります。 - ANNnewsCH