torsdag 25. februar 2021

Japan increases protection for US military amid 'severe security environment'

J apan's military performed 25 missions in 2020 in defense of US ships or planes, a sign of the growing integration of two of Asia's most powerful armed forces. The number of what Japan calls "asset protection" missions was up from 14 in 2019 amid a "severe security environment," according to an announcement from Japan's Ministry of Defense.

The Japanese military said the 25 missions involved Japan Self-Defense Forces (SDF) protecting US Navy ships on four occasions while those ships were gathering information on ballistic missiles or other warning or surveillance activities. In 21 instances, the missions involved protecting US aircraft that were in joint training with their Japanese counterparts.

Japanese authorities would not say when or where the missions took place, only that they "contributed to the defense of Japan." American and Japanese forces participated in a wide range of exercises last year in and around Japan and as far away as the Indian Ocean.