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US, Japan Naval Forces Conduct Military Exercise

Three U.S. aircraft carriers USS Nimitz, left top, USS Ronald Reagan, left center, and USS Theodore Roosevelt, left bottom, participate, Nov. 12, 2017, with other U.S. and South Korean navy ships during the joint naval exercises between the United States and South Korea in waters off South Korea's eastern coast in South Korea.

The U.S. and Japanese naval forces will hold bilateral training exercise for 10 days, starting Thursday.

More than 14,000 U.S. personnel will participate in the drills and will include the aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan and the guided-missile destroyers USS Stethem, USS Chafee, USS Mustin and a maritime patrol and reconnaissance squadron.

The exercise is designed to increase the defensive readiness and interoperability of Japanese and American forces through training in air and sea operations. The training will take place in the waters surrounding Okinawa.

The exercise follows joint naval exercises in the Western Pacific involving U.S. South Korean naval forces.

Three U.S. aircraft carriers also participated in separate exercises Sunday with Japan's largest warship. Japan also dispatched one of its two large helicopter carriers and two escorts to participate in the drills in the Sea of Japan and East China Sea.

The display of military force is meant to pressure North Korea and send a strong signal to Pyongyang of U.S. ability to rapidly mobilize a potent military force.

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