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Japan, U.S. develop remote islands war games scenario

Date Posted: 2010-10-07

A U.S. Navy aircraft carrier battle group and the Japan Ground Self Defense Force Western Army are putting finishing touches on a massive joint exercise scenario that pits the two allies against aggressors invading Japanese islands.

The defensive maneuvers slated for December, with the scenario calling for an armed force to invade remote Japanese islands, is expected to take place in Okinawa Prefecture waters of the Nansei Island between Okinawa’s main island and Ishigaki. The ground elements of the exercise are expected to take place on Kyushu, in the Ground Self Defense Force Hijudai exercise area in Oita Prefecture.

The USS George Washington, the aircraft carrier flagship of the U.S. Navy’s 7th Fleet, is expected to participate. Officials from both countries are explaining that the upcoming exercise has been in the planning stage for months, and is not a reaction to the collisions last month where a Chinese fishing trawler crashed into two Japan Coast Guard patrol boats in the disputed waters of the Senkaku Islands. Okinawa Prefecture insists the islands belong to the Japanese prefecture, but China and Taiwan also claim sovereignty.

The exercise is expected to highlight close cooperation between security allies Japan and the United States, countering China’s vigorous protests of the incident. Japanese officials say there’s another exercise also in the planning stages. It is planned for the Noto Peninsula in the Sea of Japan, countering a hypothetical missile attack from North Korea.

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