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09:23 AM, January 20, 2016
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The United States and Japan are carrying out a bilateral exercise at Japan’s Chitose Air Base to improve understanding of both the country’s military tactics as well to familiarize the US troops with Japanese surroundings.

The Aviation Training Relocation (ATR) exercise was first launched in 2007 in an effort to increase the US and Japan’s operation readiness forces and to enhance "working relationship and overall alliance".  

"Different venues offer different training opportunities," Lt. Col. Michael Shand, the US Pacific Command, said in the statement on Tuesday. "The ATR program allows us to exchange better practices and also gives us an opportunity to build camaraderie with JASDF [Japan Air Self-Defense Force] members. I hope the Japanese community recognizes our effort to reduce the impact on surrounding areas as well".

The joint training exercises was launched on January 12 and will continue until Friday, Sputnik reported.

"Bilateral engagements such as Chitose ATR have assisted the two nations form one of the world’s strongest alliances to maintain peace and stability in the region, while building relationships to facilitate vital coordination in training and possible real world events," the statement pointed out.

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