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MSDF destroyers to start drill with U.S. carriers

Jiji Press TOKYO (Jiji Press) — Three Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Force destroyers will conduct a joint drill with as many U.S. nuclear-powered aircraft carriers including the USS Ronald Reagan in the Sea of Japan on Sunday, the MSDF said Friday.

The drill appears intended as a warning to North Korea, which continues its nuclear weapons and missile development programs.

The three MSDF destroyers include the Ise helicopter carrier and the Inazuma. The remaining two U.S. aircraft carriers are the USS Theodore Roosevelt and the USS Nimitz.

The Inazuma has been engaged in a joint exercise with the Ronald Reagan in the Sea of Japan since Oct. 26. They will be joined by the remaining four vessels.

The Theodore Roosevelt and the Nimitz are seen entering the Sea of Japan no later than Saturday.

Prior to the planned drill, two Air SDF F-15 fighter jets carried out an exercise with F/A-18 jets launched from the Ronald Reagan.

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