German military ship docks in Japan for first time in 20 years
Tokyo, Nov 5 (EFE).- Germany’s frigate Bayern has docked at a Tokyo port in what is the first stop in 20 years for a German military ship in Japan, a country increasing its maneuvers with allied nations before China’s strengthing.
Bayern has been conducting maneuvers with the naval corps of the Japanese army south of the capital, the Japanese Defense Ministry reported Friday on the occasion of the Friday visit of Minister Nobuo Kishi.
Before inspecting the ship, Kishi met with General Eberhard Zorn, the German military chief, to whom he stressed the importance of bilateral cooperation.
“We are seeing unilateral attempts to change the status quo in the East China Sea and the South China Sea by force, and these problems are a common concern not only in Asia, but also in the rest of the world, including Europe,” Kishi told Kyodo news agency.
These maneuvers with Germany are the most recent since Japan recently stepped up its defense cooperation with its allies in response to China’s increased military activities in the region and its territorial proclamations.
The German frigate also participated in other exercises with Japanese naval forces in the Gulf of Aden, off the southern coast of Yemen, last August.
Bayern is on a seven-month journey until February that will also take it to South Korea, Vietnam and Singapore with the aim of strengthening ties with allies in the area.
France and the United Kingdom have also sent military vessels to the Indo-Pacific recently, and the three European powers are seeking to strengthen their cooperation with the United States administration, which has been pressuring China.
The Chinese Foreign Ministry said in September that the deployment of the German frigate seeks to “show muscle and provoke problems, deliberately creating disputes on maritime issues.” EFE