Japan conducted large-scale joint exercises with the United States over nearby waters earlier this month involving a total of 52 aircraft, the Air Self-Defense Force said Thursday, amid intensifying maritime activities by China and Russia in the region.

Including aircraft that flew several times, 20 ASDF fighter jets, 29 fighters and two warplanes of the U.S. Air Force, and a U.S. Navy patrol plane participated in the drills on July 6, as well as on Monday and Tuesday, over the Sea of Japan, the Pacific Ocean and the East China Sea, the ASDF said.

Aimed at enhancing the ASDF's "tactical technique and the capabilities of joint Japan-U.S. actions in response" to armed attacks, the joint drills were carried out following two exercises conducted by the allies in late June, according to the ASDF.