The Maritime Self-Defense Force will hold joint military exercises with five Asian navies and the U.S. during a rare long-term dispatch to the South China Sea and Indian Ocean, the Defense Ministry's Maritime Staff Office has said, in a move certain to stoke anger in Beijing.

Japan announced Tuesday that it will send three vessels — including its largest, the helicopter destroyer Kaga — for a more than monthlong tour set to begin Sunday and run through October.

The three ships will make port calls in India, Sri Lanka, Singapore, Indonesia and the Philippines, and will conduct joint exercises aimed at bolstering combat skills and improving cooperation with each country's navy while also linking up with the U.S. Navy.