U.S. Navy carrier drills with Japanese, Indian navy in Sea of Japan

FILE PHOTO: The aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan maneuvers along the waters east of the Korean Peninsula prior to a scheduled port visit in Busan, Republic of Korea in this October 21, 2017 handout photo. Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class MacAdam Kane Weissman/U.S. Navy/Handout via REUTERS

TOKYO (Reuters) - The U.S. Navy carrier, the USS Ronald Reagan, conducted three days of drills with a Japanese destroyer and two Indian warships in the Sea of Japan, Japan’s navy said on Tuesday.

The exercise involving five ships, which ended Monday, came amid heightened tension in the region over North Korea’s ballistic missile and nuclear tests and as U.S. President Donald Trump began a 12-day tour of Asia beginning in Japan on Sunday.

“The exercise helped improve fighting skills and deepened cooperation with India,” Japan’s Maritime Self Defence Force said in a press release.

The 100,000-ton Reagan, which is based in Japan carries around 70 combat aircraft and is the U.S. Navy’s most powerful warship in Asia.

The Reagan will join two other carriers in the Western Pacific, the USS Nimitz and USS Theodore Roosevelt, in a potent reminder to Pyongyang of the U.S. ability to rapidly mobilize military force, U.S. officials told Reuters earlier.

Reporting by Nobuhiro Kubo and Tim Kelly; Editing by Michael Perry