U.S., Japan to hold joint military drill amid island row with China

Oct. 31, 2012 – 06:30AM JST

TOKYO —

Japan and the United States will hold a biennial joint military exercise in Japan in November in a move likely to further anger China amid heightened tensions between the two Asian giants over disputed islets in the East China Sea.

About 37,400 military personnel from Japan will join some 10,000 U.S. troops in the Nov 5-16 drill, an official at Japan’s Self-Defense Forces said Tuesday.

China’s Defense Ministry spokesman Yang Yujun said last week China was “paying close attention to the relevant moves by the Japanese”, when asked about a joint military exercise between the United States and Japan.

Yang also accused Japan of “manufacturing tensions in the region”.

In recent weeks, both Japan and China have sent patrol ships to waters near the uninhabited islands, called Senkaku in Japan and Diaoyu in China, raising concerns that an unintended collision could develop into a larger clash. 

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