Yomiuri, Nikkei, and Sankei wrote that the MSDF announced on Tuesday that it conducted joint submarine drills with the U.S. Navy in the South China Sea on Tuesday. The papers speculated that the drills were aimed at enhancing the deterrence of the two forces with China’s increasing military activities in the region in mind. The MSDF sent a submarine, a P-1 patrol plane, the helicopter carrier JS Kaga, and the JS Murasame to the drills, while the U.S. Navy dispatched a destroyer and a P-8A patrol aircraft. Yomiuri wrote that it is very unusual for the naval forces to disclose information about the activities of their submarines because submarine operations are classified. Adm. Yamamura, chief of the MSDF Staff, reportedly told the press on Tuesday that this was the first time for the MSDF to conduct joint submarine training with the U.S. Navy in the South China Sea, stressing that the ability of U.S. and Japanese forces to conduct high-level joint exercises regardless of the area demonstrates the high level of interoperability between the United States and Japan.