This US Navy Handout photo shows the aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) as it leads the US Navy guided-missile cruiser USS Lake Champlain (CG 57) (right front), and the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Michael Murphy (DDG 112) during a transit of the Philippine Sea with the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF) Atago-class guided-missile destroyer JS Ashigara (DDG 178),(left front), and the JMSDF Murasame-class destroyer JS Samidare (DD 106) on April 26, 2017. (MC2 Sean M. Castellano / US NAVY / AFP)
TOKYO - Japan's Air Self-Defense Force (ASDF) said Friday that it conducted a joint drill east of Okinawa with US aircraft carrier Carl Vinson, according to local media reports.
Defense Minister Tomomi Inada told a press briefing that the exercise was held to further strengthen the deterrence power of the Japan-US alliance and to "show our country's commitment to the region's stability."
Kyodo News quoted the ASDF as saying that two F-15 fighter jets based in Naha, Okinawa Prefecture, joined two US Navy F/A-18 fighters based on the Carl Vinson in the air east of Okinawa to conduct the fighting drill.
The exercise was initially scheduled to be carried out on Wednesday afternoon, but was cancelled due to bad weather, the ASDF said.
Although the two countries often hold joint military drills, one involving an aircraft carrier is rare.