The first joint land and naval exercises are planned by Japan, the United States and France next May, the Japanese newspaper Sankei Simbun reported on Sunday.
One of the tasks of the planned maneuvers should be to practice rescue operations at sea and during natural disasters. At the same time they will be aimed at countering China, the newspaper writes. It is planned to use a remote Japanese island for the exercises.
The newspaper reminds that Japan is particularly concerned about China’s growing military activity around the disputed Senkaku Islands (Chinese name – Diaoyu) in the East China Sea, the publication says.
“We want to demonstrate our presence in the region and send a signal of cooperation between Japan and France,” French Navy Chief of Staff Admiral Pierre Wandier told Sankei Simbun in an interview.
He added: “This message has been sent to China. This is a message about multilateral partnership and freedom of maritime navigation.