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Feb. 22 — A computer-based exercise involving the United States and Japan, Resilient Shield 2021, started on Monday, a week after Chinese ships invaded Japanese waters.The exercise focuses on U.S. naval tactics, ballistic missile defense techniques and procedures, or BMD, and ensuring that Japanese and U.S. forces are well-proven in conducting them, the Navy said in a press release on Monday.

This year’s annual event consists of over 77 U.S. command centers. In a four-day drill, the Navy and Japan Maritime and Air Self-Defense Forces, Navy officials said. The headquarters of the Navy’s 7th Fleet at Yokosuka, Japan, is the lead command center.In a press release, Cmdr. Jeremy Carlson, commanding officer of the Navy destroyer USS Benfold, said Monday, “Resilient Shield provides U.S. and Japanese watch-standers a unique opportunity to refine theater BMD tactics, techniques and procedures and build bilateral capabilities essential to regional missile defense,”

There are frequent military collaborations between the United States and Japan.The U.S. in February The Navy declared the completion of a nine-day mine warfare exercise off the coast of Japan to improve shared competence in countermeasure mine operations. In the area, Robust Shield 2021 comes at a time of increased stress.In waters claimed by Japan near the contested Senkaku or Diaoyutai Islands last week, Chinese coast guard ships reached the East China Sea.

After Japanese coast guard units arrived, the vessels traveled to an area near Minami-kojima, part of the Senkaku chain, before leaving the area.China and Japan both claim the islands and have fought over territorial rights, and the incident was protested by Tokyo. The White House announced on Feb. 10 that the U.S. President Joe Biden spoke by telephone with Chinese President Xi Jinping, the subject of discussion being China’s “increasingly assertive actions in the region”

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