Japan PM Abe reveals country's first mission to defend US military aircraft

For the first time, Japan has defended U.S. military aircraft under security legislation passed in 2016 allowing its Self-Defense Forces to aid American military units.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe confirmed the mission this week during a policy speech before the Diet, but did not provide further details.

“With tensions growing over North Korea, the Self-Defense Forces carried out a mission to protect U.S. vessels and aircraft for the first time,” Abe said on Monday. “An alliance gets stronger if the partners can help each other. The Japan-U.S. alliance has without a doubt become stronger than ever.”