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Japan, US label China as enemy in joint military exercise

'Keen Edge' exercise simulates Taiwan emergency

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Japanese troops. (Reuters photo)

Japanese troops. (Reuters photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Japan and the U.S. have designated China as an enemy for the first time in its 2024 “Keen Edge” military exercise.

The Japanese Self-Defense Forces and the U.S. military previously used a “provisional name” to refer to an enemy, per Kyodo News. The computer exercise from Feb. 1-8 simulates a Taiwan Strait conflict.

The results will be released in a report by the end of this year, and troops will carry out a physical demonstration near 2025 to certify tactics. Head of Japan's Self-Defense Forces Yoshihide Yoshida said last month that the exercise "did not envision a particular country or region."

This year’s Keen Edge exercise is the “latest in a series of joint/multilateral command post exercises designed to increase our integrated joint operational capability, refine command and control procedures, and enhance interoperability of all participants,” the U.S. Indo-Pacific Command said in a statement. The exercise includes “greater synchronization with the U.S. Space Command and U.S. Cyber Command, expanding the multi-domain collaboration that is incumbent on any large-scale exercise or operation,” it added.