According to a Japanese Defense Ministry news release, the exercises saw participation from twelve F-22 stealth fighters (the top-of-the-line F-22 stealth aircrafts), four F-35 stealthjets and thirteen F-15 Jets.
US fighter jets were joined in Japan by F-15 and F-2 fighters as well as three US reconnaissance and support planes.
The Japanese and US fighter jets flew in the skies over the Sea of Japan, Pacific Ocean and East China Sea in an effort to improve tactical skills and “joint response capability,” the Japanese Defense Ministry said.
Although the US Air Force didn’t immediately comment on the exercises, the service stated in a press release last month that 12 F-22s were flown from Hawaii Air National Guard to Kadena Air Bas in Okinawa.
According to the US statement F-22s were visiting Japan to “various missions to increase operational readiness to defend Japan, and ensure a free Indo-Pacific,”
The Japanese statement stated that the exercise was meant to “strengthen Japan-US Alliance’s capability for effective deterrence.”
According to the Japanese Defense Ministry the Chinese Coast Guard has been spending record time with naval ships and the Chinese Coast Guard in the Senkakus waters this year.
CNN was informed earlier this year by China’s Foreign Ministry that China’s Coast Guard patrols in waters around the islands were an “appropriate exercise of China’s sovereign right.”
The ministry released a statement saying that a Russian flotilla of five ships sailed close to Japanese islands for a week. It departed from Hokkaido in Japan’s north and reached Okinawa in South Okinawa in the southeast.
Two Chinese warships and a ship of supply were also spotted in the Izu Islands (about 500km (312 miles) south-east of Tokyo). One of those ships looked to be the Lhasa (a Type 55 guided missile destroyer and one China’s most powerful surface ships).
The US Air Force has moved some of its most critical assets to the Indo-Pacific during this week’s exercises.
Two B-2 stealth-bombers were flown from Missouri to Amberley by Royal Australian Air Force Base Amberley. There they will conduct training missions and strategic defense missions with allies and partners in support of a free Indo-Pacific, the US Pacific Air Forces said Sunday.
“This deployment, the B-2 to Australia, demonstrates and enhances our long-range penetration strike force readiness and lethality,” said Lt. Colonel Andrew Kousgaard (393rd Expeditionary Bomb Squadron commander) in the PACAF statement.