Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Tuesday, March 28th, 2023

Japan Urges Europe to Have Stronger Military Presence in Asia to Tackle China

Japan Urges Europe to Have Stronger  Military Presence in Asia to Tackle China

TOKYO - Japan’s defence minister has urged European nations to have a stronger military involvement in the Asia-Pacific as Tokyo tries to put “tremendous pressure” on Beijing to counter China’s influence in the region.
In his first speech to the European Parliament subcommittee on security and defence on Friday, Nobuo Kishi called on the European Union to solidify its commitment to the “Indo-Pacific region” and for the two sides to “continue and expand” their security cooperation.
“[Parties] such as Japan and the EU must tackle together ... the fight against authoritarianism,” Kishi said in an online address.
“As defence minister, I highly commend the point that the EU strategy sets out [about] the strengthening of presence and action in the Indo-Pacific.
“It is my sincere hope that such involvement will continue and expand, and that many more will follow the lead.”
A source familiar with Japan’s defence policymaking said the speech was part of Tokyo’s efforts to enlist the EU to put more pressure on Beijing.
“Japan hopes to use this opportunity to get more involvement from the EU in the region. HMS Queen Elizabeth’s visit to Japan will put tremendous pressure on Beijing this year,” the source said.
The British aircraft carrier will lead a flotilla of Royal Navy ships in a high-profile tour through Asian waters on its maiden deployment this year, including port visits in Japan and South Korea.
The carrier strike group will sail through the contested South China Sea, and conduct exercises with forces from Japan, Australia, Canada, South Korea, New Zealand, and a number of European states including France, Denmark, Greece, Italy and Greece.
In his speech, Kishi criticised Beijing for its “unilateral attempts to change the status quo by coercion” and efforts to militarise contested parts of the South China Sea.
He also expressed concerns over China’s “unilateral attempts to change the status quo” in the East China Sea, particularly with the adoption of a controversial coastguard law in January.
“The justified rights of all relevant countries should never be undermined due to the coastguard law, and we can never tolerate anything that could heighten the tension on the waters such as the East China Sea and South China Sea,” he said. (South China Morning Post)