The Japanese Self-Defense Forces and the US Navy are conducting joint operations in the South China sea, with Japan`s largest flat-top destroyer which is also a helicopter carrier, joining by the USS Ronald Reagan during this operation. The military exercises which included combat training in the waters and airspace of the area contested by China. The project kicked off Monday and finished on Wednesday, according to separate statements by Japan and the United States.
As part of a push to capture and control more territory from its neighbors, China has constructed “islands” in the South China Sea and has built air and sea bases that service submarines and strategic bombers. China claims these outposts are part of a concerted effort to defend its territory but most analysts believe it is a bid to take control of what China calls a historic Nine-Dash Line and expand its influences to blue waters.
Sea Lanes in this area service over $3 trillion in trade from Japan, South Korea, India, Myanmar, Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia, Australia and a dozen other countries in the region that feel this free-trade waterway will be compromised. Each Navy in this area is now building out its ability to defend trade, and even its importation of energy, oil to be specific.