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Japan to dispatch MSDF fleet to Indo-Pacific

Asahi wrote that Defense Minister Kishi told reporters on Tuesday that Japan will dispatch a fleet led by the helicopter carrier JS Izumo to the Indo-Pacific starting on June 13. The fleet is planning to visit the Solomon Islands, Tonga, Fiji, and other Pacific island nations and participate in joint drills with the United States and Australia while it is deployed in the region until Oct. 28. MSDF submarines and patrol planes will also participate in the planned drills. Noting that China is increasing its influence in the region through a security pact with the Solomon Islands and other means, the paper quoted Kishi as saying that relations with Pacific island nations are very important for Japan and that Tokyo hopes to strengthen its ties with them.

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