JS HYUGA and JS KONGO conducted a Japan-U.S.-ROK trilateral exercise.

From January 15 to 17, JS HYUGA and JS KONGO conducted a Japan-U.S.-Republic of Korea trilateral exercise with USS CARL VINSON, USS PRINCETON, USS KIDD, USS STERETT, ROKS SEJONG THE GREAT and ROKS WANG GEON in the East China Sea.
Commander, Escort Flotilla 3, Rear Admiral YOKOTA Kazushi, who led the Japanese side, said, “Under an increasingly severe security environment surrounding Japan, which includes repeated missile launches by North Korea, we practiced various tactical drills with the U.S. Navy and the ROK Navy to improve our tactical capabilities and strengthen cooperation with the two navies. Moreover, this trilateral exercise was carried out to strongly promote our cooperation in order to respond to regional security issues and demonstrate our commitment to strengthen rules-based free and open international order. The JMSDF will continue to strongly cooperate with them for creating security environment that does not tolerate any attempts to unilaterally change the status quo by force.”
Commander, Carrier Strike Group 1, Rear Admiral Carlos Sardiello said, "Our strike group welcomes the opportunity to train again and further build on our capabilities as a combined force with maritime forces from Japan and the Republic of Korea. Sailing and flying together safely alongside our allies demonstrates our commitment to improving information sharing and working together effectively, to enhance our ability to coordinate on maritime domain awareness and other shared security interests."
The Self Defense Fleet maintains readiness and contributes to the peace and stability of the Indo-Pacific region, not only for the defense of Japan but also for the realization of a “Free and Open Indo-Pacific” in cooperation with allied and like-minded navies.