Today, the Japanese military exercises in conjunction with France and the United States. This is the first time that large-scale military exercises have been conducted in Japan with ground forces from all three countries. “Japan is looking for allies outside the United States,” said Radboud Molijn, director of JapanWatcher and Global-Bridges.
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France seems like a logical ally to Japan. Not only do the two countries have traditional ties, but France still has some interests in the Pacific. These exercises should also be seen in the light of Chinese expansion in the region. For example, the country claims 85 to 90 percent of the South China Sea. Moliz eagerly states: ‘In 2016, the International Court of Justice in The Hague issued a judgment rejecting China’s claim, which China did not accept. This is a big deal for Japan because it is a free passage. ‘
‘They want to see later that they have friends other than the United States, there will be a British aircraft carrier later this year, and there will be a German warship. They are looking for other countries against Chinese claims. ‘
Tokyo and Beijing, in particular, are battling the Sengaku Islands. “Probably gas and oil. There’s a lot of fish.”
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