Japan, US, France hold military drill eyeing China presence

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KIRISHIMA TRAINING AREA, Japan (AP) — Dozens of Japanese, American and French troops have continued to hold their first-ever joint drills on Japanese soil. This week’s drills, dubbed “ARC21,” seek to step up military ties amid growing Chinese assertiveness in the region. On Saturday, Japanese and French troops as well as U.S. Marines landed in the rain from helicopter, and also conducted an urban warfare drill. An expanded naval exercise in the East China Sea included Australian warships. Tokyo is increasingly concerned about Chinese activity surrounding the Japanese-controlled Senkaku islands. One of Saturday’s drill scenarios centered on defending a remote island from an enemy invasion.

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