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The US-Japan joint military exercise was to have ended on the 28th of August though the bottom article seems to imply that Northern Viper ended on the 26th. Perhaps it ended early because of Hurricane Harvey? The firing of missiles appears a sort of parting shot. Perhaps North Korea didn’t dare shoot the missiles during the exercise?

Osprey is approved for takeoff
U.S. Marine Corps joint terminal attack controllers communicate with a MV-22 Osprey during takeoff in Hokkaido, Japan, for a media day event during exercise Northern Viper 17, Aug. 18, 2017. Misawa Air Base is serving as a hub for U.S. Marine personnel and aircraft, exercising Team Misawa’s ability to thrive with an influx of other service members. Various agencies, including the 35th Logistics Readiness Squadron fuels flight, 35th Force Support Squadron, 35th Medical Group, 35th Fighter Wing public affairs office and many more, offered equipment, resources and personnel to assist in sustaining NV17 training operations and objectives. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Deana Heitzman)

From VOA:
North Korea Fires 3 Missiles Over Japan
Last Updated: August 28, 2017 5:57 PM, by Steve Herman
North Korea fired three missiles that flew over Japan early Tuesday morning and splashed down in the Pacific Ocean, according to Japanese government officials.

There was no immediate information about the type of rockets that were fired. South Korean officials said the launch point was near Pyongyang, the North Korean capital.

Authorities in Japan sounded an alert for the northern part of the country when the missiles were detected, warning people in the Tohoku region to prepare for a possible impact. However, military officials in Tokyo later said the rockets passed over Japanese territory and fell into the Pacific, about 1,180 kilometers from their launch pads.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe immediately called an emergency meeting. Entering his office, he said: “We will make utmost efforts to firmly protect the lives of the people.”

Japanese government officials said no attempt was made to shoot down the missiles. Tuesday’s incident recalled the last time a North Korean missile is believed to have overflown Japan, in 1998.

An official at the U.S. National Security Council said authorities in Washington were aware of the incident and awaiting specific information from the U.S. Pacific Command on the trajectory and other data about the North Korean missiles.

Officials at the Pentagon had no immediate comment on the situation.

The missiles were fired from North Korea toward the Sea of Japan (the East Sea, as it is known in Japan), at about 5:58 a.m. Tuesday (2058 UTC Monday / 1658 EDT), according to officials in Tokyo and Seoul. Jeff Seldin, National Security Correspondent, and Brian Padden contributed to this report.https://www.voanews.com/a/north-korea-missile-japan/4004272.html

It is particularly worrisome that a real or fake nuclear war in the area would offer a convenient cover for the ongoing radioactive discharges from Fukushima and hence ever-worsening radioactive contamination.

Will the Japanese military come help out with Hurricane Harvey?

U.S., Japanese Troops Team Up for Northern Viper Exercise
By Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Andy Martinez III Marine Expeditionary Force
HOKKAIDO, Japan, Aug. 14, 2017 — More than 2,000 U.S. Marines have joined with about 1,500 Japan Self-Defense Force troops to support the first iteration of exercise Northern Viper 2017 at Misawa Air Base, Japan, and on the nearby island of Hokkaido.

Northern Viper, which runs Aug. 10-28, is a joint contingency exercise that tests the interoperability and bilateral capability of the JSDF and U.S. Marines. Together, the troops will address challenges across a variety of areas, including peacekeeping operations and humanitarian assistance and disaster relief.

The exercise enhances and improves interoperability at the tactical level between the Marines and JSDF to keep the forces formidable and adaptive. The exercise showcases a highly capable, forward-deployed U.S. military presence positioned with their Japanese partners to directly support the security of the Indo-Asia-Pacific region.

“We have Marines with 1st Marine Aircraft Wing, Marines with 3rd Marine Division and the JSDF all currently together to train here,” said Marine Corps Col. James F. Harp, the commanding officer of Marine Aircraft Group 36. “This exercise is strategically shaping our relationship with Japan.”

U.S. Marines with Marine Aircraft Group 36 will provide direct aerial support to the Marines of 3rd Marine Division and JSDF with a variety of aircraft.

“The mission for 1st [Marine Aircraft Wing] Marines here is to have the opportunity to train outside of Okinawa,” said Marine Corps Maj. Eric M. Landblom, the exercise operations officer for Marine Aircraft Group 36. “The government of Japan allows us the freedom to come and train in other locations. We also have good partnerships with the Air Force and Navy installations to allow us to do this type of training.”
According to Landblom, the squadrons attached to 1st Marine Aircraft Wing will conduct training operations, such as assault support missions, simulated offensive air support and simulated casualty evacuations in Hokkaido.

U.S. Marines and Japan Ground Self-Defense Force troops learn tactical combat casualty care during Northern Viper 2017 in Chitose, Japan, Aug. 14, 2017. Marine Corps photo by Sgt. Ally Beiswanger

“We have ranges here that we don’t have in Okinawa,” said Marine Corps Sgt. Maj. Marvin M. Magcale, the sergeant major for Marine Aircraft Group 36. “We can utilize the ranges in Hokkaido in ways we couldn’t back in Okinawa. There are ranges nearby for our aircraft to train and conduct live fires by air.”

During the exercise, 3rd Marine Division’s mission will be on Hokkaido as the bilateral partner with JSDF’s Northern Army 11th Brigade, Landblom said.

“They will do functional training where they train to learn from each other,” he said. “After, they will do comprehensive training, which we will take what they learned from each other and conduct a force on force operation where they work together to defeat a common enemy.”

Designed to integrate the Marine Corps with the JSDF, Northern Viper allows Marines to identify their weaknesses in order to avoid them in the future, making this exercise a valuable asset to maintaining readiness in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region.

“This exercise is extremely important because we have very limited opportunities to come together with our Japanese counterparts in a large scale to conduct this type of training,” Harp said. “We need to continue training like this to better protect the region from its adversaries.

Link: http://youtu.be/UC5OBwzPaeQ

Northern Viper 2017 comes to an end
III Marine Expeditionary Force
August 26, 2017 | 1:30
For the first time, more than 2,000 U.S. Marines joined with approximately 1,500 service members with the Japan Self-Defense Force to support the first iteration of Exercise Northern Viper 2017, at Misawa Air Base and the island of Hokkaido, Japan, August 10-28, 2017. Northern Viper, an annual joint contingency exercise, tests the interoperability and bilateral capability of the JSDF and U.S. Marine Corps forces to work together across a variety of areas including peacekeeping operations, humanitarian assistance and disaster relief. This exercise enhances and improves interoperability at the tactical level between the Marines and JSDF to keep the forces formidable and adaptive. NV17 showcases a highly-capable, forward-deployed U.S. military presence positioned with their Japanese partners to directly support the security of the Indo-Asia- Pacific region. (U.S. Marine Corps video by Lance Cpl. Andy Martinez)


Marines, U.S. Air Force, MV-22, Japan, U.S. Marine Corps, military, JGSDF, flight, Japan Ground Self-Defense Force, F-16, F-16 Fighting Falcon, 35th Fighter Wing, Misawa Air Base, Photography, Staff Sgt. Deana Heitzman, NV17, Northern Viper 2017, Northern Viper 17