Japan is joining the military drill to be conducted by Australia and the United States. The military exercise is aimed to train forces on planning and conducting mid-intensity high-end warfighting.
Japan’s decision to join the U.S.-Australia war games came at the time of rising tensions over the South China Sea.
All three nations are said to be concerned about China’s territorial dispute over the islands. China’s adamant claim over the region is risking the freedom of international movements through the seas and air space, the three nations contested.
Japan, Australia, U.S. conduct war games with an eye on China
Japan, Australia and the U.S. share common concerns about China’s behavior in the disputed South China Sea. The U.S. is seemingly summoning its country allies to strengthen defense over the contested region, according to Euan Graham, director of the International Security Program at the Lowy Institute In Sydney.
“I think the U.S. is trying to get its allies to do more. There is an obvious symmetry between Japan as the upper anchor of the Western Pacific alliance and … Australia as the southern anchor,” Graham told Reuters.
China has already built seven man-made islands in the Spratly archipelago despite territorial claims by the Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia, Taiwan and Brunei. According to security experts, China might be planning to reinforce severe air and sea restrictions as soon as it finishes its constructions of military facilities in the South China Sea.
Exercise Talisman Sabre 2015
Japan will join Australia and the U.S. for the Exercise Talisman Sabre 2015 scheduled to take place in July 2015. Forty members of the Japan Self-Defense or JSDF will participate in the war games. A contingent of about 500 military personnel from New Zealand is also participating.
Australia’s Chief of Joint Operations, Vice Admiral David Johnston, said that the Exercise Talisman Sabre 2015 is the major bilateral military activity between the U.S. and Australia. The Inclusion of Japanese and New Zealand forces would enable Australia to deepen its engagement with close defense partners in the Asia Pacific region.
“The primary aim of the exercise remains improving Australia-US readiness and the way we operate together through combined training. There will also be a broader International Observer program with participation from foreign officials,” Johnston said in a statement.
“While Exercise TALISMAN SABRE remains Australia’s premier bilateral exercise with the United States, it provides an excellent opportunity for the ADF to practice operating with the New Zealand Defence Force and JSDF in a realistic training environment,” he explained.
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