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HOME  > Past issues  > 2017 December 6 - 12  > SDF holds joint flight drills with nuclear-capable US military aircraft
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2017 December 6 - 12 [SDF]

SDF holds joint flight drills with nuclear-capable US military aircraft

December 7, 2017
Fighter jets of Japan’s Air Self-Defense Force conducted joint flight drills multiple times with the U.S. Air Force’s B-52 nuclear-capable bombers in Japanese airspace, Akahata learned on December 6.

At a House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee meeting on the day, the Defense Ministry revealed this in response to a question made by Japanese Communist Party member Kokuta Keiji. The ministry, however, refused to provide detailed information about the drills by claiming the “importance of the Japan-U.S. relations” as an excuse.

Kokuta grilled the government whether it verifies that the B-52s do not carry nuclear-armed missiles in advance. Foreign Minister Kono Taro in his reply said that the government assumes that no nuclear-armed U.S. military airplane flies to Japan, suggesting that the Abe government did not make an inquiry to the U.S. military about the matter.

Kokuta underscored the seriousness of the fact that the Japan-U.S. joint military exercises using nuclear-capable U.S. military aircraft had been carried out in secret. He said, “A repeat of the same military drill in areas close to North Korea entails the potential risk of a military conflict erupting between North Korea and the United States which could escalate into a war involving Japan before neither the government nor the general public become aware. It is unacceptable for the government to allow such provocative military exercises.”
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