Defense Minister Nobuo Kishi on Friday said Japan will step up military cooperation with Germany in the Indo-Pacific region as he welcomed a port call by the first German warship to visit Japan in about 20 years.
The ship's visit is “an important turning point” in pursuing a “free and open Indo-Pacific” and secure one of the world's most important shipping lanes, Kishi said after inspecting the frigate with German officials.
"It shows Germany's strong commitment to actively contribute to peace and stability in the Indo-Pacific,” he said.
Germany adopted a defense guideline last year focusing on the Indo-Pacific region and has since stepped up its military ties with Japan.
Deploying our frigate to the Indo-Pacific makes clear that Germany stands up for our common values.”.
Japanese officials say Chinese vessels routinely violate Japanese territorial waters around the islands in the East China Sea, sometimes threatening fishing boats.
Zorn said the Bayern has conducted small-scale exercises with the militaries of eight countries since leaving Germany and made port calls at various locations including Guam and Australia. »