Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force carried out a submarine drill in the South China Sea, according to a report by the Asahi Shimbun on Monday. This is Japan’s first submarine drill conducted in the disputed waters of the South China Sea.
The Japanese newspaper said the Submarine Kuroshio and three other destroyers participated in the drill, which was conducted under tightest secrecy. The submarine joined the three destroyers in neutral waters in the South China Sea. The destroyers and the helicopters they carry aboard trained to detect a submarine and the submarine practiced to approach vessels without being detected.
The Japanese submarine and the destroyers conducted the drill within the Nine-Dash Line, a U-shaped line in the South China Sea where China claims sovereignty. “The likelihood of a Japanese submarine being deployed in the South China Sea serves as a deterrence to China,” a Japanese government official said.
Japan is also considering dispatching Ground Self-Defense Force members to multinational peacekeeping force (MFO) in the Sinai Peninsula, according to a report by the Kyodo News on Monday. The new security law that came into effect in 2016 made it possible for Japan’s Self-Defense Force to participate in foreign peacekeeping operations. It would be the first time for Japan to dispatch its armed forces.
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