US and Japan Conduct Drill

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A five-day air combat exercise by Japan's Self-Defense Forces and United States troops based in Japan has ended, as the two ally countries prepare for deliberations to revise their security cooperation treaty.

The drill was conducted over Pacific waters on Tuesday off the coast of Shikoku, the fourth-largest of Japan's islands, with four F-4 fighter jets and an unspecified number of personnel from JASDF and six FA-18 fighters and some 90 soldiers from the US, according to Japan's NHK.

Foreign affairs and defense officials from the two countries are scheduled to begin discussions on a revision to the guidelines for their defense cooperation on Thursday.

Amid China's maritime activities and military capabilities, the discussions will focus on how the revised guidelines should define the roles to be shared by Japan and the US in terms of intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance, according to Japan's Jiji Press.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has repeatedly emphasized the need to exercise the right to collective self-defense in rebuilding the Japan-US alliance, and this topic will also be demonstrated in the discussions on Thursday, according to the Kyodo News Agency.

The Diaoyu Islands dispute and Pyongyang's rocket launch offer Japan excuses to enhance its collective self-defense, which allows Japan to help defend US troops when necessary, said Wang Ping, a researcher on Japanese studies with the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences.

Read the full story at China Daily.