Warships from US, Australia, Canada, Japan, and New Zealand hold exercise in disputed waters.
Led by the US, a 5-nation joint naval drill was conducted in the South China Sea on Tuesday.
The joint exercise was conducted with the aim of enhancing tactical skills and strengthening cooperation with the navies of the participating countries in the South China Sea, Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JDMSF) said on X.
Warships from Japan, the US, Australia, Canada, and New Zealand are participating in the drill called “Noble Caribou,” it added.
The commanding officer of Japanese forces, Togawa Hisado, said: “We believe that through this multilateral exercise, we were able to improve our tactical capabilities and strengthen cooperation with the navies of the participating countries, as well as embody their strong will and ability to create a security environment that does not tolerate unilateral changes to the status quo by force.”
Hisado further stressed that: “We will engage in our upcoming missions while maintaining a posture to respond swiftly to any contingency.”
The multi-national naval drill in the South China Sea comes amid intense tensions between China and the Philippines over overlapping maritime claims.