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International relations

US-Japan military drills go on despite virus, with eye on China

Allies also seek to conduct international RIMPAC exercise in August

U.S. soldiers wearing protective face masks are seen during a military drill at Yokota U.S. Air Force Base in Fussa, Japan.   © Reuters

TOKYO -- The coronavirus has not stopped the U.S. and Japan from holding joint military exercises, as the allies keep watch on China's increasingly assertive maritime maneuvers in the East and South China seas amid the pandemic.

Two U.S. Air Force B-1 bombers and 16 F-15 and F-2 fighters from Japan's Air Self-Defense Force held joint drills over the Sea of Japan and around Okinawa on Wednesday.

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