TOKYO (Reuters) – U.S. Air Force transport aircraft on Thursday massed at Washington’s key Asian military air transportation hub, Yokota Air Base in Japan, to show potential foes and allies it was ready for action despite the coronavirus emergency.
“It shows both our adversaries as well as our allies in Japan the importance of our placement, the importance of our ability to execute our mission,” base Vice Commander, Colonel Jason Mills, said.
U.S. forces are stationed in Japan to defend Washington’s key Asian ally from attack from North Korea, but also to check China’s growing influence in the wider region, including Southeast Asia and the South Pacific.
As Washington tries to tackle the coronavirus pandemic, some officials worry outbreaks in the military may provide fodder for Beijing to question U.S. strength in the region.
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WNU Editor: China’s recent behaviour in Asia, coupled with the pandemic, is unnerving everyone on the continent right now.