Japan, US commanders call for strengthened relationship


The commanders of the Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Force and the United States Navy stressed that the two countries will strengthen their ties to achieve a free and open Indo-Pacific, with friendly nations.

Exercises involving the MSDF have been underway since November 21 in the waters around Japan. Warships from the United States, Australia, Canada and Germany participate. This is the first time that the German Navy has participated in the exercise, which takes place every two years.

Vice Admiral Yuasa Hideki, Commander-in-Chief of the Japanese Self-Defense Fleet, and Vice-Admiral Karl Thomas, Commander of the U.S. Seventh Fleet, held a joint press conference on the aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson on Tuesday.

Yuasa said threats to maritime security are increasing due to unilateral attempts to change the status quo by force.

He said the MSDF would strengthen ties with naval forces in friendly countries to maintain and improve a free and open Indo-Pacific.

Thomas called on those allies and friendly countries to demonstrate their capabilities to nations that have made a show of force, apparently referring to China.

Members of the media also saw a state-of-the-art F-35C stealth fighter jet performing take-off and landing exercises.

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