• Kyodo

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Japan and the United States will conduct a joint military drill for regaining a remote island from late August through early September in California, the Defense Ministry’s Joint Staff Office said Friday.

About 1,100 members of Japan’s Self-Defense Forces — 360 members of the Ground Self-Defense Force, around 730 members of the Maritime Self-Defense Force and four staff officers of the Air Self-Defense Force — will participate in the drill, “Dawn Blitz,” which is held every other year.

The drill, which SDF personnel first joined in 2013, is part of the ministry’s efforts to build up defensive capabilities for remote islands amid China’s growing assertiveness around the Senkaku Islands in the East China Sea.

The drill will be conducted at U.S. Marine Corps base Camp Pendleton and elsewhere in California.

The SDF personnel will practice delivering weapons and materiel, landing on a remote island by helicopter and sending air-cushioned landing craft from an MSDF vessel.

They will also practice transporting injured personnel to the MSDF vessel using a U.S. MV-22 Osprey transport aircraft.

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