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Japan, Germany agree to intensify defence co-operation

Japan and Germany have agreed to expand their bilateral defence and security ties in the Asia-Pacific region, including by conducting joint military training activities.

The agreement was reached during a virtual meeting held on 22 June between Japanese Defence Minister Nobuo Kishi and his German counterpart, Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer.

The German Ministry of Defence said in a statement that the two sides discussed conducting training activities during the deployment of a German Navy frigate to the region later this year. They also talked about the possibility of the same frigate taking part in “monitoring and surveillance activities” of illicit ship-to-ship transfers by North Korea-related vessels.

The two ministers also exchanged views on regional security issues in the Indo-Pacific region and reiterated their opposition to “any attempts to unilaterally change the status quo [in the East and South China Seas] by coercion or any activities that escalate tension”, noted the ministry, adding that Berlin and Tokyo also share “deep concerns” over the new China Coast Guard (CCG) law adopted by Beijing earlier this year.

Passed on 22 January new ‘Maritime Police Law of the People's Republic of China' authorises the CCG to use firepower – under certain circumstances – against foreign vessels in waters Beijing views as being “under China's jurisdiction”. According to the legislation the CCG is now authorised to take “all necessary measures, including the use of weapons, when national sovereignty, sovereign rights, and jurisdiction are being illegally infringed upon by foreign organisations and individuals at sea, or are facing an imminent danger of illegal infringement”.

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