Japan’s Biggest Warship to Drill With US Carriers Near Korean Peninsula

November 10, 2017 Updated: November 10, 2017

Japan said on Friday it would send one of its two big helicopter carriers, the largest warship in its fleet, along with two escorts to join three U.S. aircraft carriers for exercises in waters close to the Korean peninsula.

The Japanese ships Ise, Inazuma and Makinami will sail with the USS Ronald Reagan, USS Nimitz and USS Theodore Roosevelt in the Sea of Japan and East¬†China¬†Sea on Sunday, Japan’s Maritime Self Defence Force said in a press release.

It is the first time three American carriers have trained together in a decade. The show of force comes as U.S. President Donald Trump meets with regional leaders at an Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) in Vietnam.

The aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan and the Arleigh Burke-class destroyer USS Stethem are underway alongside ships from the Republic of Korea (ROK) Navy in the waters east of the Korean Peninsula on October 18, 2017. Picture taken on October 18, 2017. Courtesy Kenneth Abbate/U.S. Navy/Handout via REUTERS
In this handout provided by the U.S. Navy, The Carl Vinson Carrier Strike Group, including the aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70), operate with the Ronald Reagan Carrier Strike Group including, USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76), and the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force ships in the western Pacific region June 1, 2017. (Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Z.A. Landers/U.S. Navy via Getty Images)

Trump is on a 12-day tour of Asia and has already made stops in Tokyo, Seoul and Beijing.

His administration has demanded that North Korea halt ballistic missile and nuclear tests. The naval exercise will be a potent reminder to Pyongyang of the U.S. ability to rapidly mobilize military force.

The 100,000-ton U.S. carriers carry a combined force of around 200 aircraft including F-18 strike fighters.

By Tim Kelly and Nobuhiro Kubo

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