In a First, US & Japan Label China As “Hypothetical Enemy” In Joint Military Exercise

In a combined command post exercise, the U.S. military and Japanese Self-Defense Forces identified China as a hypothetical enemy for the first time.

The computer simulation exercise, which started on February 1, depicts an emergency scenario in Taiwan.

In the past, an enemy was referred to by a provisional name.

To identify China as a hypothetical enemy highlights an increased sense of urgency as concerns heighten that China might act on Taiwan in years amid rising geopolitical tensions.

Japan and the U.S. have multiple joint operation strategies envisioning emergencies, with a draft about Taiwan completed by the end of last year.

The results of the current “Keen Edge” exercise are reflected in the final strategies to be compiled by 2024 year-end.

Joint drills between the U.S. and Japan were initiated in 1986. Usually, every other year, the two nations perform “Keen Sword” and “Keen Edge” exercises.