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Japan, US forces conduct drill after N. Korea fires missiles

Japanese F-15 fighter jet
Japanese F-15 fighter jet
TOKYO, May 26 (KUNA) -- Japanese and US forces have conducted a joint exercise involving eight fighters over the Sea of Japan, Tokyo's Defense Ministry announced Thursday, a day after North Korea launched three ballistic missiles.
Four F-15 fighter jets from the Japan Air Self-Defense Force Chitose Air Base and four F-16s from US Misawa Air Base, both in northern Japan, participated in the bilateral exercise Wednesday, the ministry said in a press release.
"This exercise affirmed readiness of Japan Air Self-Defense Force and US Armed Forces and further strengthened the capacity of Japan-US alliance," the ministry said.
"Through exercises like this, Japan Self-Defense Force continues to maintain and reinforce readiness and the ability to contribute to peace and stability in this region," it added.
The US Indo-Pacific Command also said in a statement that the two forces carried out the joint exercise to "showcase combined capabilities to deter and counter regional threats." "The US and Japan remain committed to jointly working to ensure peace and security throughout the Indo-Pacific region," it said.
The joint flight came as North Korea fired three ballistic missiles, including an apparent intercontinental ballistic missile Wednesday following US President Joe Biden's two-nation tour to South Korea and Japan.
It was also held after six Chinese and Russian strategic bombers flew over the Sea of Japan, the East China Sea and the Pacific on Tuesday, when Japan hosted the Quad summit with the leaders of Australia, India and the US, in which they reiterated strong resolve to maintain the peace and stability in the Indo-Pacific region. (end) mk.gta