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Japan and Germany to hold joint ground forces exercises for first time

Japan and Germany to hold joint ground forces exercises for first time German Defense Minister Boris Pistorius (photo: Getty Images)

The German army will join the exercises with the Ground Self-Defense Forces of Japan next year against the backdrop of China's increasing military capabilities in the Indo-Pacific region, states German Defense Minister Boris Pistorius.

The German Defense Minister noted that the future joint exercises, which will take place in Japan, will be the first of their kind between the ground forces of the two countries.

Pistorius also noted that there are no signs that China will abandon its territorial claims in the South China Sea, as Beijing continues to deploy coast guard, maritime police, as well as maritime and air forces in the waters around Taiwan.

"We are observing these developments with concern," the defense minister said, emphasizing China's significant responsibility for global peace and stability. He also noted that China is a partner for Germany, underscoring the importance of leveraging these ties.

Pistorius stated that representatives of the German army recently visited Japan to coordinate their participation in future exercises. This cooperation followed the signing of a defense pact aimed at facilitating the exchange of materials and material-technical support.

The naval and air forces of the two countries have previously conducted joint exercises. It is also known that Germany intends to deploy a frigate, a supply ship, and aircraft in the Indo-Pacific region this year.

The German frigate is expected to make a port call in Japan in August, with the European country's fighter jets planned to join a drill with Japan's Air Self-Defense Force in July.

"Our military experts tell us that Russia would theoretically be able to attack NATO territory in five to eight years. Regardless of whether Moscow would take this risk or not, we must be prepared for anything," he said.

Japan strengthens its allied relations with European countries

In recent years, allies of the G7 have conducted numerous joint military exercises both on a bilateral basis and within broader groups of countries.

Earlier, it became known that Japan and France had agreed to begin negotiations on a mutual access agreement for their troops, thus strengthening military cooperation against the backdrop of tensions in the Indo-Pacific region and the war in Ukraine.

During the negotiations, the countries emphasized that they could play a more significant role in each other's defense industries. France also intends to offer Japan its products in the civil nuclear energy sector.