Tokyo and Washington have kicked off a combined naval, land and air drill aiming to show their readiness to “fight and win” despite Covid-19. Beijing has been warning that such activities lead to more tensions.

The ‘Keen Sword’ drill, which is held every two years, involves around 46,000 troops, including 9,000 American personnel, as well as dozens of warships from the Ronald Reagan Carrier Strike Group and the Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Force.

The training will include amphibious landings on several smaller Japanese islands, as well as activities on Okinawa, according to a statement by the US Pacific Fleet. The naval part of the drill, which is expected to continue until November 5, will be conducted in Japan’s territorial waters.

The military exercise comes as a power show against China, as Beijing and Tokyo are locked in a long and bitter territorial dispute over the energy-rich water of the East and South China Seas. While Japan accuses China of trying to alter the status quo in the region, Beijing often lashes out at the US and its regional partners for “deliberately distorting” the facts and international law.

Japan’s top military commander General Koji Yamazaki stated the ‘Keen Sword’ drill is a response to the security situation around Japan, which has become “increasingly severe.” (RT)