Japan to host joint drill with U.S., France

It will hold the drill from May 11 to 17

Japan will hold a joint military drill with U.S. and French troops in the country’s southwest next month, the Defence Minister said on Friday, as China’s actions in regional waters raise concern.

The exercise, running from May 11 to 17, will be the first large-scale exercise in Japan involving ground troops from all three countries.

It comes as Tokyo seeks to deepen defence cooperation beyond its key ally U.S. to counter Beijing’s growing assertiveness in the East and South China seas. “France shares the vision of a free and open Indo-Pacific,” Defence Minister Nobuo Kishi said. “By strengthening cooperation between Japan, the U.S. and France, we’d like to further improve the tactics and skills of the Self-Defense Forces,” he said.

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