Rising Threat From China Pushes U.S. and Japan to Deepen Military Cooperation

HACHINOHE, Japan—It was the kind of exercise the U.S. or Japan would typically tackle by itself. On this December morning, the two countries’ soldiers were in a camouflaged tent together, practicing using the planes of one and the missile launchers of another to attack an imaginary ship of an unnamed country that might have been China.

In a forest along the coast of northern Japan, nearly two dozen U.S. Marines and Japanese soldiers hunched over maps and laptops. A message flashed on a secure Marines webpage: “Stdby for engagement.”

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