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German frigate to help monitor enforcement of UN resolutions against North Korea

Brandenburg (Type 123)-class frigate Bayern (F 217) approaching the Tokyo International Cruise Terminal on 5 November. The German Navy warship is on an almost seven month-long deployment to the Indo Pacific as part of efforts by Berlin to show an ‘increased presence' in the region. (Japanese Ministry of Defense)

As part of its almost seven month-long deployment to the Indo-Pacific region, the Germany Navy's Brandenburg (Type 123)-class frigate Bayern (F 217) has arrived in Japan from where it will join monitoring and surveillance activities of suspected illicit ship-to-ship transfers by North Korea-related vessels.

The activities, which are meant to help enforce UN Security Council (UNSC) sanctions against Pyongyang, will start in mid-November in waters surrounding Japan, including the East China Sea, according to a 5 November statement by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Tokyo.

The Japanese Ministry of Defense (MoD) said that the German frigate carried out joint exercises with Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF) helicopter carrier JS Izumo and Murasame-class guided-missile destroyer JS Murasame on 24 September in the Indian Ocean. The frigate also conducted training with Murasame-class destroyer JS Samidare in waters off Japan's Kanto Region on 4–5 November before making a port call at the Tokyo International Cruise Terminal.

Meanwhile, Japan's defence minister, Nobuo Kishi, held talks with the Generalinspekteur der Bundeswehr (German Chief of Defence Staff), General Eberhard Zorn, on 5 November, stating that the German frigate's port call in Tokyo demonstrates Berlin's strong determination to actively contribute to peace and stability in the Indo-Pacific region.

Gen Zorn said the region is one of the world's most strategically important areas and stressed the importance of strengthening German-Japanese co-operation.

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