The war, from May 11 to 17, will be the first major drill in Japan that will affect ground forces from the three countries.
Japan will join forces with U.S. and French troops in the southwest of the country next month, the Ministry of Defense has announced, as China’s actions in regional waters are causing concern.
The operation, from 11 to 17 May, will be Japan’s first operation involving forces from the three countries, the Japan Ground Self-Defense Force (JGSDF) said in a statement on Friday.
This comes at a time when Tokyo is seeking to expand its security alliance through US allies to counter Beijing’s commitment to the East and South China Seas.
“France shares a free and open Indo-Pacific vision,” Secretary of Defense Nobuo Kishi told reporters.
“By fostering cooperation between Japan, the United States and France, we seek to enhance the skills and expertise of the Armed Forces in protecting remote areas of the islands,” he said.
Paris has an interest in the Indo-Pacific region, including the French island of Reunion in the Indian Ocean and French Polynesia in the South Pacific.
Participating drills will be held at the JGSDF in Kirishima training ground as well as at Camp Ainoura in Kyushu area as well as amphibious exercise.
Threats from China
Last week, Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga and US President Joe Biden pledged to strengthen China’s ties with one another and to strengthen cooperation, including technology.
The two leaders also agreed to oppose any attempt to “change the status quo in the East and South China”.
Biden’s first face-to-face meeting with a foreign leader was also needed to strengthen cooperation between the US, Japan, Australia and India, a traditional “Quad” alliance, which the new US agency sees as China’s security in the Indo-Pacific.
The US has accused China of “disrupting” the region by building artificial islands, as well as maritime and airports in the South China Sea.
Japan has said it is threatened by a number of Chinese weapons and territorial disputes.
Joe Biden met with the Prime Minister of Japan in his first man-to-person meeting with a foreign leader. This is why it is so important 👇 https://t.co/MxSgpASJn8
– Al Jazeera English (@AJEnglish) April 16, 2021
It is most affected by Chinese events after the Japanese-occupied Senkaku Islands, which Beijing claims and calls Diaoyu.
Washington has also said in recent months that the US-Japan Security Council covers islands that are at loggerheads.
China says most of the South China Sea, and calls for its so-called “9-dash line” to fulfill what it says are the most free trade routes.
Vietnam, Philippines, Malaysia, Brunei and Taiwan are all competing in areas where China has declared itself at sea.
The International Court of Justice in The Hague in 2016 overturned China’s claim to the South China Sea in the first ruling, stating that Chinese repatriation efforts to the Spratly Islands are illegal. Beijing rejected the election.