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Japan to Send Largest Warship to US Military Exercise Near Korean Peninsula

  • VOA News

FILE - A helicopter lands on the Izumo, Japan Maritime Self Defense Force's (JMSDF) helicopter carrier, at JMSDF Yokosuka base in Yokosuka, south of Tokyo, Japan, Dec. 6, 2016. Japan plans to send one of its two large helicopter carriers to join three U.S. aircraft carriers in exercises near the Korean Peninsula.

Japan announced Friday it would send its largest warship to join three U.S. aircraft carriers in exercises in waters near the Korean Peninsula, a display of military force meant to pressure North Korea as U.S. President Donald Trump attends an Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in Vietnam.

"#Japan says it'll send one of its big helicopter carriers to join three U.S. aircraft carriers for exercises in waters close to #Korea peninsula," VOA Correspondent Steve Herman tweeted.

Japan will dispatch one of its two large helicopter carriers and two escorts to participate in drills on Sunday in the Sea of Japan and East China Sea, according to Japan's Maritime Self Defense Force.

The exercises will be the first time in a decade three American carrier strike groups have trained together in the region and comes as the Trump administration has insisted that North Korea halt development of a nuclear-armed missile capable of striking the U.S.

The naval drills are aimed at sending a strong signal to Pyongyang of U.S. ability to rapidly mobilize a potent military force. The 100,000 ton U.S. carriers transport a total of about 200 aircraft, including F-18 combat jets.

The last time three U.S. carrier strike groups participated in joint exercises in the Western Pacific was in 2007 near Guam.

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