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International relations

U.S. and Japan step up joint drills by 50% as Taiwan tensions rise

Maritime operations in focus as Chinese military activity intensifies

Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Force destroyers participate in an exercise on Aug. 7 with a U.S. replenishment oiler. (Photo courtesy of the Maritime Staff Office)

TOKYO -- Japan's Self-Defense Forces have participated in 50% more joint exercises with the U.S. military so far this year than in the same period of 2021 as the partners strengthen deterrence on the front lines of a potential conflict around Taiwan.

A total of 10 fighter jets from Japan's Air Self-Defense Force and the U.S. Air Force held joint drills around Okinawa on Tuesday. This came hot on the heels of joint aerial drills held on Aug. 4, when China kicked off drills around Taiwan.

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