The Straits Times
Published on Oct 20, 2012

Japan, US to cancel island drill: Jiji report


TOKYO (AFP) - Japan and the United States (US) are dropping plans for a joint drill to simulate the retaking of a remote island from foreign forces, amid a row between Tokyo and Beijing over a disputed island chain, a report said.

The governments are set to cancel the drill as it could further provoke anger from China after the territorial row escalated when Japan last month nationalised some of the disputed islands, also claimed by Beijing, Jiji Press reported late on Friday.

The decision to cancel the drill, which would have involved an island that is not part of the disputed chain, was in line with the views of Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda's office, Jiji quoted government sources as saying.

According to earlier Japanese news reports, the exercise would have been part of broader joint Japan-US manoeuvres due to start in early November.