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SECURITY > Self-Defense Forces

MSDF to conduct joint drill with French military vessel

  • January 25, 2018
  • , Asahi , p. 4
  • JMH Translation

At a “two-plus-two” meeting of foreign and defense ministers from the Japanese and French governments scheduled for Jan. 26 in Tokyo, the two governments are expected to agree to conduct a joint drill between the Maritime Self-Defense Force and the French military in which the “Vendémiaire,” a French naval frigate patrolling France’s overseas territories, will participate in the drill scheduled for February. Bearing in mind the Chinese navy’s maritime advancement to the deep sea, the two governments plan to strengthen their security cooperation in the Pacific region.

 

Several Japanese government officials disclosed information on the joint drill. The government paid attention to the fact that France is a “Pacific nation,” which has overseas territories in the South Pacific and the Indian Ocean including French Polynesia and New Caledonia, so Tokyo expected that France will probably agree to Japan’s “free and open Indo-Pacific strategy” as its new diplomatic strategy.

 

In addition to conducting the joint training exercise, the Japanese government, bearing in mind China’s building military bases in the South China Sea, is coordinating with the French government to release a joint statement at the upcoming “two-plus-two” meeting, which will incorporate the importance of maintaining the open sea as a public asset belonging to the international community and the importance of freedom of navigation. 

 

The two governments will likely come to a general agreement on concluding an Acquisition and Cross-Servicing Agreement, under which the SDF and the French military provide each other with ammunition and other supplies, and beginning their joint research and development of mine detection technology.

 

The two governments will also hold a foreign ministerial strategic dialogue on Jan. 27. As Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is thinking of attending the opening ceremony of “Japonismes 2018,” an event that to be held in July in Paris and other places to introduce Japanese culture, the two foreign ministers will likely discuss the matter.

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