Two Japanese destroyers depart for possible drill with U.S. carrier group: media

2017-04-21 11:55:53 GMT2017-04-21 19:55:53(Beijing Time) Xinhua English

TOKYO, April 21 (Xinhua) -- Two Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Force (MSDF) destroyers departed from Sasebo in Nagasaki Prefecture on Friday, local media reported.

The media quoted the Japanese Defense Ministry sources as saying the destroyers are likely to take part in a joint drill with the U.S. aircraft carrier Carl Vinson strike group.

The Carl Vinson strike group, which includes the nuclear-powered aircraft carrier, two guided-missile destroyers and a cruiser, is reportedly heading to waters off the Korean Peninsula, according to local media.

The exact date and location of the exercise, however, remains unknown, according to latest reports.

Noting that Japan's MSDF destroyers and the U.S. aircraft carrier conducted bilateral exercises twice in March, Kyodo News reported that the Japanese and U.S. governments have been considering another joint exercise amid concerns of heightening tensions on the Korean Peninsula.

Japan's public broadcaster NHK reported that Japanese defense officials had yet to determine the details of the exercise, but said U.S. Defense Department officials said the carrier strike group is expected to enter the Sea of Japan early next week.

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