TOKYO/BERLIN (Own report) – The German Chancellor’s trip to Japan, early next week, takes place in the midst of the expansion of military relations between Berlin and Tokyo. Particularly the German Navy is regularly cooperating with its Japanese counterparts, with which it carries out tactical maneuvers at the Horn of Africa. Since some time, army and air force have also been extending their antennas toward Japan. Parallel to Germany’s efforts, Great Britain and France have also been intensifying their military policy relationships to Japan. The same goes for NATO, which, just last year signed an “Individual Partnership and Cooperation Programme” with the Japanese government. Already two years ago, German government advisors had recommended that Germany “participate in the USA’s political and military re-orientation toward Asia.” This would mean the reinforcement of western positions in the direct territorial vicinity of the Peoples Republic of China, with the intention of rolling back its political power. Berlin and the EU also see Japan, the USA’s key ally in Asia, as an important partner in their rivalry with Beijing.
“The Army Stands Ready”
Germany has been reinforcing its contacts to Japan on the military level, since some time, within the framework of expanding military and political relations throughout the entire region of eastern and southeastern Asia. (german-foreign-policy.com reported.) Following an initial visit to that country in 2009 by the German Inspector General and a return visit to Germany by the Commanding General of the Japanese Ground Forces in 2012, the German Inspector General paid a second visit to Japan in April 2013, which he subsequently commented: “The German Army stands ready for closer cooperation with Japan’s ground forces.” Cooperation between the German Army Training Center in Munster and Japan’s Army School of the “Self-Defense Forces” in Fuji are under consideration. The Air Force is also extending its antennas. A delegation from the Air Force Officer Candidate School visited Japan from April 14 – 17, 2014. According to their own information, they had engaged in “expert technical discussions with the flight teaching personnel of the 1st Air Wing of the Japanese Air Self Defense Force (JASDF) at Hamamatsu Air Base.
Parallel to Berlin’s efforts, Paris and London are also intensifying their military policy cooperation with Tokyo. Great Britain and Japan signed an armament cooperation agreement in 2013. During the course of a foreign and defense minister meeting in early 2014, France and Japan furthered their planning for the joint construction of combat material. The EU’s three main powers are advancing along this route parallel to one another.