Saturday’s Nikkei wrote that the Ministry of Defense and the SDF announced on Friday that Japan will conduct joint military drills with the United States and France in Kyushu in mid-May based on the scenario of recapturing a remote island. This will be the first time for the three nations to hold joint exercises involving ground forces. The drills will be held from May 11 to 17 at Camp Ainoura in Nagasaki Prefecture where the GSDF’s amphibious rapid deployment brigade, a unit specializing in the defense of remote islands, is stationed. Exercises will also be held at the Kirishima Training Ground in Miyazaki and Kagoshima prefectures and in the sea and airspace west of Kyushu. According to the announcement, about 100 SDF personnel, 60 U.S. Marines, and 60 French troops will participate in the drills. The paper speculated that the drills are aimed at keeping China’s increasing maritime activities near the Senkaku Islands in check and that Japan is hoping to deepen its security cooperation with European nations in addition to the United States. Yomiuri, Asahi, and Sankei ran similar reports.