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The drill, which ends June 28, will train Japanese troops “on truly necessary” skills to help them deploy swiftly, whether to defend territory or provide disaster relief, Cmdr. Inoue said. With limited landing craft, Japan needed help from U.S. Marines to rescue people along its tsunami-devastated coast following the 2011 earthquake.

Japan is sending three warships, about 1,000 service members and about four combat helicopters to the so-called Dawn Blitz exercise, Cmdr. Inoue said. Forces from New Zealand and Canada also will take part.

The troops will practice an amphibious assault on San Clemente Island, a naval training ground off San Diego’s coast, and also conduct a mock beach invasion at Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton.

Tokyo’s move to boost its amphibious training is “hugely significant” since the United States is obligated to defend Japanese territory under a post-World War II security pact, said Kerry Gershaneck of the Pacific Forum-Center for Strategic and International Studies.

“We cannot ask young American Marines to fight and die doing a job that Japanese forces cannot, or will not, do,” he said. “The U.S. Marines will help, but they must have a capable partner.”

• AP reporters Eric Talmadge in Tokyo and Zhao Liang in Beijing contributed to this article.