(1) Major Exercises -East China Sea, Remote Island Defense

Major Exercises conducted since April 2020
※Exercise location is for illustrative purposes only

Japan's Self-Defense Forces (SDF) will continue to deal with situation in the Senkaku Islands in a calm and resolute manner so as to defend to the last Japan's territorial land, waters and airspace. In the East China Sea including the Senkakus' surroundings, all services of SDF, with collaboration with U.S. forces, engage in a range of activities to assert SDF presence in the region and to hone their ability to defend Japan's islands: such activities include, among others, GSDF's amphibious operation drills with the U.S. Marine Corps, MSDF's bilateral exercises with the U.S. Navy, and ASDF's flight training with the U.S. Air Force.

Multiple partner nations in recent years have deployed naval ships to the East China Sea in order to deal with North Korea's illicit ship-to-ship transfers. Leveraging the opportunity, MSDF has actively conducted training with these ships thereby improving interoperability with the navies of partner nations.

Major Exercises -East China Sea, Remote Island Defense
Click to each training details below

1. "Keen Sword" Japan-U.S. joint exercise

Gajajima Isl.: JSDF/USF landing exercise with USMC MV-22
Okidaitojima Isl.: live-fire exercise by JSDF/USF vessels and fighters

Oct.-Nov. 2020

Bombing training(image)
Training at Gajajima

Joint press conference on JS KAGA(Oct.26th 2020)

(Left) GEN Yamazaki, Chief of Staff, Japan Joint Staff, (Right) Lt Gen Schneider, Commander, USFJ

"As we develop new and better ways to operate and integrate, exercises like this clearly demonstrate the growing strength of the US-Japan Alliance.
In spite of the immense global impact from COVID, the US-Japan Alliance did not falter and we have remained ready to fight and win."

2. "Forest Light" Field Exercise with USMC in Japan

Dec. 2020

  • Heliborne air assault
  • focus: bilateral operations for remote island defense
  • Relocated training of MV-22
  • Mitigating impact on Okinawa

3. Bilateral Exercise between JGSDF and USMC/USN

JSDF aims to maintain and improve remote island defense through amphibious operation training with US forces including USMC

  • Kin Blue beach, Okinawa
  • Amphibious training by JGSDF and USMC 31st MEU
  • ※USMC: U.S. Marine Corps
  • ※MEU: Marine Expeditionary Unit

4. Bilateral Training with U.S. Forces

Frequently conducting various training with U.S. Air Force strategic bombers over the East China Sea, etc.

Aug. 2020
Jan. 2021

5. Bilateral Training with U.S. Forces

JASDF fighters conduct air defense training with USMC and USAF fighters over the East China Sea

Mar. 2021 ※Image
Apr. 2021

6. Major Exercises in East China Sea

Actively conducting exercises with US Navy in the East China Sea

Japan-U.S. Bilateral Exercises

Apr. 2020
Aug. 2020
Mar. 2021
Apr. 2021

Japan-U.S.-France Trilateral Exercise

Feb. 2021

Japan-Australia Bilateral Exercise

Nov. 2020

Japan-Canada Bilateral Exercise (KAEDEX20)

Nov. 2020
  • Many partner nations deploy navy ships to monitor North Korea's ship-to-ship transfers and other maritime activities
  • JSDF actively leverages these opportunities and trains with these ships