Japan is to hold its first military drill with French and United States of American troops in May 2021. As per the Japan Report, the joint exercise is being held as it is concerned about the increasing Chinese actions in the regional waters.

Joint Exercise

  • It will be the first large scale exercise between Japan, France and USA.
  • It is to be held at the JGSDF Kirishima training ground.
  • The exercise will include amphibious operations as well.
  • It has come as Japan is trying to increase its defence cooperation with the America. Japan intends to counter China’s assertiveness in the South and East China sea.
  • The Government of France shares the vision of free and open Indo-Pacific. France has territories in the Indian Ocean namely French Polynesia in South Pacific and French Island of Reunion in the Indian Ocean.

Backdrop

President Biden and Japanese PM Yoshihide Suga recently met at the White House. Their conversations mainly centred around “What to do about China?”. During the bilateral meet, both leaders agreed to take up issues such as China’s aggressions in East China sea and South China sea. Both agreed to work together to ensure a free and open Indo-Pacific. Japan has always been open that it is threatened by the vast military resources of China and its territorial disputes.

Major irritant between China & Japan

Japan is mainly concerned about the Chinese claims of Senkaku Islands in the South China Sea. Senkaku Islands are currently administered by Japan. However, China claims the Island and calls it Diaoyu.

In South China Sea

The People’s Republic of China claims most of the South China Region, It has drawn an imaginary “Nine Dash Line”. The Chinese claim the regions of South China sea based on this line.

China‘s Nine Dash Line

  • It is a demarcation line used by Mainland China for its claim over South China Sea.  
    • In the 1947, China showed a U-shaped eleven dash line in its map. Later two dashes were removed making it a nine-dash line.
    • In the 2010, China published a new map that incorporated a 10th dash.
    • In the 2013, the People’s Republic of China extended this line to the east of Taiwan and further extending it to the East China Sea.

Japan to host first joint military exercise with USA and France Japan to host first joint military exercise with USA and France