LOOK: US, Japan ships sail together in disputed South China Sea

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jun 13 2019 12:03 AM

The Navy's forward-deployed aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan operates with the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force helicopter carrier JS Izumo (R) in South China Sea June 11, 2019. Picture taken June 11, 2019. Courtesy JMSDF/U.S. Navy/Handout via Reuters

MANILA - A US aircraft carrier and three Japan maritime self-defense force (JMSDF) ships sailed together in the disputed waters of South China Sea for 3 days.

According to the website of the US 7th Fleet, the USS Ronald Reagan and JMSDF ships JS Izumo, JS Murasame and JS Akebono held communication and tactical maneuvering drills from Monday to Wednesday to enhance maritime security.

“As we continue to operate together with the JMSDF, it makes us a cohesive unit. They are an integral part of our Strike Group that doubles our capability to respond to any situation," said Lt. Mike Malakowsky, a tactical actions officer aboard Ronald Reagan. 

The US Navy and JMSDF regularly operate with other allies to promote security and stability in the region, the report read.

"The time we are able to spend at sea training and operating with our partners in the Japan Self Defense Forces is invaluable," said Capt. Pat Hannifin, commanding officer of USS Ronald Reagan.

“Our alliance has never been stronger, and it’s never been more important to this region than right now."

Japan has an unresolved territorial dispute with China over Japanese-controlled Senkaku Islands, which China calls Diaoyu, in the East China Sea.

The US, while not a party to the maritime dispute, has been calling for restraint and freedom of navigation on the South China Sea.