Japan practices with the United States and France

Japan practices with the United States and France

Today, the Japanese army is training alongside France and the United States. This is the first time that large-scale military exercises have taken place in Japan with ground forces from those three countries. “Japan is looking for allies outside the US,” says Radboud Mullegen, director of Japanwatcher and director of Global-Bridges.

Flickr? Mick Thompson

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France appears as a logical ally of Japan. Not only is the traditional relationship between the two countries concerned, but France still has a few interests in the Pacific. The exercises should also be viewed in light of Chinese expansion in the region. For example, the country claims 85 to 90 percent of the South China Sea. Mullegen describes this with curiosity: “ In 2016, there was a ruling by the International Court in The Hague refuting China’s claim, and China simply doesn’t accept it. This is an important point for Japan, because this is the free pass.

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They want to see later that they have other friends than the United States, and later this year there will be a British aircraft carrier, as well as a German frigate. They are looking for other countries against the Chinese allegations.

Tokyo and Beijing are fighting over the Senkaku Islands in particular. “There is probably gas and oil there, and there are a lot of fish.”

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