mandag 26. april 2021

Japan plans first joint military drill with US, France as Manila issues more protests against Beijing in South China Sea

Japan will hold a joint military drill with US and French troops in the country’s southwest next month, the defence minister said on Friday, as China’s actions in regional waters raise concern. The exercise, running from May 11-17, will be the first large-scale exercise in Japan involving ground troops from all three countries, the Japanese Ground Self-Defence Force (JGSDF) said in a statement.

Tokyo has sought to deepen defence cooperation beyond its key US ally to counter Beijing’s growing assertiveness in the East and South China seas. “France shares the vision of a free and open Indo-Pacific,” Defence Minister Nobuo Kishi told reporters. “By strengthening cooperation between Japan, the United States and France, we’d like to further improve the tactics and skills of the Self-Defence Forces in defending remote island territories,” he said.