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HOME  > Past issues  > 2023 July 5 - 11  > Japan's ASDF participates in US-led multinational air mobility drill
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2023 July 5 - 11 [SDF]

Japan's ASDF participates in US-led multinational air mobility drill

July 5, 2023

A multinational global-level air mobility exercise under the command of the U.S. Air Force started on July 3 in the Indo-Pacific region. About 240 Japan Air Self-Defense Force personnel are formally participating in the joint air force drill. Japanese peace activists are criticizing the exercise for preparing to make Japan a hub for airlifting and logistics for a potential U.S. war against China.

"Mobility Guardian 23 (MG23)" is the largest multinational air force drill hosted by USAF Air Mobility Command (AMC). It will continue until July 21 at ASDF bases in Japan as well as at air force bases in Illinois, Hawaii, Guam and the Northen Mariana Islands, and an international airport in Palau, utilizing 67 aircraft, including transport and refueling aircraft, of Japan, the U.S., the U.K., France, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand., with about 3,000 servicepersons taking part in total.

According to the Hamura Peace Committee in Tokyo, five KC-135 midair refueling tankers and one transport aircraft from the U.S. mainland, and four F-35A stealth fighter jets from Alaska arrived at the Yokota AB in Tokyo by July 2. Members of the Kyoto Peace Committee witnessed aerial refueling aircraft, which probably left the Yokota AB, flying in a circle pattern over the sea off the east of Kii Peninsula on July 3.

Japan Peace Committee Secretary General Chisaka Jun said, "I think that the U.S. military, anticipating a war against China, is trying to mobilize multinational forces to rapidly transport U.S. combat troops to its forward bases in the world, deploy fighter jets there, and build a global-scale supply system."

Chisaka added, "Japan's Kishida government is willing to respond positively to the U.S. military demands. So, the SDF could be incorporated in the U.S. war plans and be involved in U.S. armed strikes against foreign targets. I'm sure that MG23 will escalate tensions and the arms race in the region. MG23 should be cancelled and the Kishida government should abandon its course of military expansion."
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