The Japan Self-Defense Forces and the US military launched a major joint Keen Sword exercise on Thursday to practice actions to defend remote islands of the Japanese archipelago. According to the Japanese Defense Ministry, about 26,000 servicemen of the ground, naval and air forces will be take part in the drills from the Japanese side. About 10,000 military personnel, including from the space division, will participate from the US side. In addition, 20 Japan Self-Defense Forces vessels and 10 US ships, as well as 250 Japanese aircraft and 120 US aircraft, including the Osprey tiltrotor, will be involved in the maneuvers.
A total of four ships and two aircraft from the armed forces of Australia, Canada and the United Kingdom will also join the US and Japanese military during the drills, whose scenario involves practicing the defense of the remote islands of Tokunoshima in Kagoshima Prefecture. The exercises will last until November 19. The current practical exercises have become the 16th in a row. Observers from Australia, Canada, France, India, New Zealand, the Philippines, South Korea, Great Britain and NATO have been invited to them," the Japanese joint command said in a statement.
Credit: Independent News Pakistan-INP