Japan, U.S., Canada, Australia Holding Joint Drill in Pacific

U.S. Navy personnel on the carrier strike group USS Carl Vinson join a flight demonstration, Saturday, Nov. 11, 2023, during this year’s Annualex 23 joint exercise off the Japanese coast, also joined by Japan, Australia, Canada and the Philippines that share concerns about China’s growing assertiveness in the Indo-Pacific.

TOKYO (Jiji Press) — Japan’s Maritime Self-Defense Force has begun a joint exercise with the U.S., Canadian and Australian navies in the Pacific Ocean.

“As threats to maritime security, such as attempts to unilaterally change the status quo by force, are increasing, strong cooperation with navies of other countries is necessary,” Vice Adm. Akira Saito, commander in chief of the Self-Defense Fleet, told a joint press conference held on the aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson on Saturday.

In the joint exercise, which started Friday as part of the MSDF’s largest practical drills, about 30 vessels and 40 aircraft from the four countries are set to participate in combat and supply training. The joint exercise is scheduled to last until Nov. 20.

Vice Adm. Karl Thomas, commander of the U.S. Navy’s 7th Fleet, stressed the significance of Japan-U.S. cooperation and the Indo-Pacific region at the news conference.

Noting that the Philippine navy has participated in the exercise as an observer for the first time, he said the activities of countries sharing the same view on maritime security and peace will enhance their security capabilities.