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International relations

US Navy stresses Asia commitment with drills under China's nose

Carrier commander vows to 'preserve our capability, should it be needed'

An F/A-18 Hornet is positioned for takeoff on the USS Ronald Reagan during Keen Sword, an exercise with Japan that began in the Philippine Sea on Nov. 3. (Photo by Mitsuru Obe)

ABOARD THE USS RONALD REAGAN -- The U.S. Navy this week signaled its resolve to maintain a strong presence in the Indo-Pacific region, holding its largest joint exercise with Japan of the year.

The exercise, called Keen Sword, "demonstrates the United States' and Japan's strong commitments to a free and open Indo-Pacific region," Rear Adm. Karl Thomas told reporters on Saturday aboard the USS Ronald Reagan, an aircraft carrier.

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