(1) Major Exercises in East China Sea and those for Remote Island Defense

Major Exercises conducted in a year (since October 2020)

Japan's Self-Defense Forces (JSDF) will continue to deal with situation surrounding the Senkaku Islands in a calm and resolute manner so as to defend the Japan's territorial land, waters and airspace. In the East China Sea including the Senkakus' surroundings, all services of JSDF, in collaboration with the U.S. Navy and U.S. Air Force, conducted various training and exercises. As for the training for remote island defense, JSDF has maintained and enhanced its capabilities through a range of activities including JGSDF's amphibious operation drills with the U.S. Marine Corps.

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

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

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

Oct-Nov 2020

Bombing training(image)
Training at Gajajima, south of Kagoshima

JSDF and U.S. Forces conducted the Japan-U.S. bilateral joint exercises “Keen Sword” (field training exercise) and “Keen Edge” (command post exercise). These exercises aim to enhance the readiness of JSDF and interoperability between JSDF and U.S. Forces through exercising operational procedures from the SDF as well as the Japan-U.S. Joint Response Plan.

In “Keen Sword 21” conducted from October to November 2020, JSDF and U.S. Forces performed such amphibious operations as Japan-U.S. joint landing exercise using U.S. Marine Corps MV-22 at Gajajima Island and Tokara Islands and bombing training by JMSDF escort ships and fighter aircrafts at Okidaitojima Island.

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

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

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

2. "ARC21" Japan-France-U.S.-Australia Multilateral Exercise

  • Japan, France, U.S. and Australia conducted a quadrilateral exercise “ARC21” on the occasion of French Training Squadron “Jeanne D'Arc” being deployed to Japan.
  • JGSDF and JMSDF conducted a series of exercises related to landing operations for remote island defense with French, U.S. and Australian Forces. The exercise was conducted in areas including the Kirishima Maneuver area as well as the waters and airspace west of Kyushu. Through these exercises, JSDF has deepened cooperation between these four countries who share the “Free and Open Indo-Pacific” vision, and also enhanced the JSDF's tactical skills and four countries' collaboration that are associated with remote island defense.
May 2021

3. Pacific Crown 21

  • JSDF conducted several exercises on waters around Japan during the HMS Queen Elizabeth Carrier Strike Group's (CSG21's) visit.
  • The training has demonstrated :
    • Defense cooperation between Japan and the UK ―standing on a long history and tradition ― has been elevated to a "new level"
    • The UK's commitment to uphold and reinforce the "Free and Open Indo-Pacific" is robust and irreversible
    • The Japan-UK defense cooperation serves not only for the security of Japan but for securing the peace and stability of the Indo-Pacific region and the international community.
Aug-Sep 2021

4. "LSGE21" Large-Scale Global Exercise 2021

  • JSDF joined a multilateral exercise "LSGE21" hosted by the United States Indo-Pacific Command conducting tactical training. The exercise consisted of separated two phases.
    • First phase (2~8, Aug): Conducted by Japan, U.S., Australia, over the Coral Sea to the east of Philippines
    • Second phase (24, Aug): Conducted by Japan, U.S., UK, Netherlands in the south of Okinawa
  • The exercise showed that JSDF acted in line with the participating partner nations, who share fundamental values and strategic interests, in order to uphold and reinforce the "Free and Open Indo-Pacific," and contributed to peace and stability in the region.
Aug 2021

5. "Talisman Sabre 21"

  • Talisman Sabre is a multilateral exercise conducted in Australia and hosted by the U.S. and Australia. JSDF conducted Japan-U.S. bilateral exercises for amphibious operations in conjunction with "Talisman Sabre" in 2021. In addition, it also conducted training including landing operations with the U.S., Australia and the UK, as well as anti-air defense training with naval vessels from the U.S., Australia, ROK and Canada.
  • Through this exercise, JSDF has enhanced island defense capabilities and promoted tactical collaboration between participating countries to uphold and reinforce the "Free and Open Indo-Pacific."
Jun-Aug 2021

6. Japan-U.S.-UK-Netherlands-Canada-NZ Multilateral Exercise

  • Three aircraft carriers -USS Ronald Reagan, USS Carl Vinson, HMS Queen Elizabeth - and JMSDF vessels including JS Ise conducted tactical exercises including anti-air defense combat operations. This exercise demonstrated our irreversible unity to uphold and reinforce the "Free and Open Indo-Pacific" with the U.S. and the UK, who share fundamental values and strategic interests.
  • It was the first time since 2017 that JMSDF conducted an exercise with three aircraft carriers, when it joined the exercise with three U.S. aircraft carriers.
Oct 2021

7. Japan-U.S. Bilateral Exercise

Bilateral Exercise between JGSDF and USMC/USN

  • JGSDF conducted an exercise with the U.S. Marine Corps and the U.S. Navy at the Kim Blue Beach, Okinawa. Training included amphibious operations such as landing training using CH-47 and its on-deck landing and take-off drills on the U.S. ship.
  • Through these events, JGSDF has maintained and enhanced capabilities to conduct remote island defense.
Jan-Feb 2021

"Orient Shield 21" Field Training Exercise with U.S. Army conducted in Japan

  • "Orient Shield" is a bilateral exercise between JGSDF and the U.S. Army. The exercise in 2021 was the largest one ever in its scale, with the participation of approximately 3,000 JSDF and U.S. personnel.
  • JGSDF and the U.S. Army conducted live-fire training using U.S. High Mobility Artillery Rocket System(HIMARS) and JGSDF Multiple Launch Rocket System (MLRS) in Yausubetsu Maneuver Area in Hokkaido.
  • Through the exercise, Japan and the U.S. bolstered Alliance capabilities to deter and respond.
Jun-Jul 2021

8. Japan-U.S. Bilateral Air Training

  • JASDF conducted bilateral training including formation/navigation training with U.S. Air Force strategic bomber(s), as well as air defense combat operation with fighter aircraft(s) from the U.S. Air Force and U.S. Marine Corps in airspace including over the East China Sea.
  • Through these training, Japan and the U.S. enhanced their cooperated response capabilities and tactical skills.
  • Such advanced bilateral training as conducted with aircraft F-35, the latest 5th generation fighters, serves to embody readiness of JSDF and U.S. Forces.
Dec 2021 Photo by U.S. Air Force
Sep 2021

9. Major Exercises in the East China Sea

  • JMSDF actively and frequently conducts bilateral exercises with the U.S. Navy in the East China Sea in order to improve tactical skills and interoperability with the U.S. JMSDF also conducts exercises with the U.S. Coast Guard.
  • Through these bilateral exercises, Japan and the U.S. steadily bolster the Alliance capabilities to deter and respond, and show their unity.

Japan-U.S. Bilateral Exercise

Aug 2021

Japan-Australia Bilateral Exercise

Nov 2020

Japan-Canada Bilateral Exercise (KAEDEX21)

Nov 2021

JMSDF actively conducts bilateral or multilateral exercises in the East China Sea with nations deploying their ships there to monitor North Korea's illicit ship-to-ship transfers and other illegal maritime activities.