En Route to New Conflicts (II)

BERLIN (Own report) – In the midst of a phase of the expansion of the EU’s military policy relations with several East and Southeast Asian countries, German Chancellor Angela Merkel will visit Japan. Merkel will arrive March 8 in the Japanese capital, reciprocating Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s visit to Germany last year. Tokyo seeks to intensify its cooperation with EU countries – also militarily – to enhance its position in territorial conflicts with Beijing. At the same time, the United States is focusing, to a growing extent, its global policy efforts on eastern Asia and the Pacific Basin. Shortly before Merkel is to visit Japan, a study published by the German Institute for International and Security Affairs (SWP) points out that the interests of several EU countries would be “massively affected should conflicts escalate in this region.” These conflicts are mostly about territorial sovereignty over islands and groups of islands, which recently have become accentuated. SWP proposed that the EU “discuss” what position to take “in case of conflict.”

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