Japan will hold a joint military drill with the United States and France in the country’s southwest next month, the defence minister said on Friday.
The military exercise will be conducted from 11th May to 17th May. It will be the first large-scale exercise in Japan involving ground troops from all three countries, the Japanese Ground Self-Defense Force (JGSDF) said in a statement.
“France shares the vision of a free and open Indo-Pacific. By strengthening cooperation between Japan, the US, and France, we’d like to further improve the tactics and skills of the Self-Defense Forces in defending remote island territories,” Defence Minister Nobuo Kishi told reporters.
Japan has long said it feels threatened by China’s vast military resources and territorial disputes. It is concerned by Chinese activity after the Japanese-administered Senkaku islands, which Beijing claims and calls the Diaoyu.
Last week, Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga and US President Joe Biden vowed to stand firm together against China and step up cooperation including on technology.