Since 14, the United States, Japan, France and Australia and other four countries, for the first time in the East China Sea joint maritime exercises, including the United States, Japan and France’s first land military exercises on Japanese soil, has begun on the 11th. The joint exercises, in addition to the challenge of Diaoyutai (Japan called the Senkaku Islands) and the South China Sea cruise law enforcement, even a rare urban “alley warfare” included. Some Chinese military experts believe that this seems to suggest that they will intervene in a possible conflict in the Taiwan Strait.
With the Biden administration in power, Japan is becoming an increasingly active member of the West’s “wolf pack” tactics against Beijing. Moreover, French warships have come from afar to make a friendly appearance in the new version of the “Four Nations Naval Exercise”.
On the 11th, Japan’s Self-Defense Forces and the United States, France and Australia’s military launched defense training in the outlying islands of Kyushu, which will continue until May 17. According to Kyodo News, the main highlight of the training round is: May 14 to 15, through the western coast of Kyushu, Japanese and French ships took off aircraft to transport troops to the Kirishima exercise site across Miyazaki and Kagoshima prefectures, to carry out “helicopter assault” operations and “alley warfare “The exercise was followed by an amphibious operations exercise. In the first three days of the exercise, the participating troops will be stationed at the Aigaura base and work together to develop the above training operation plan to confirm the combat techniques.
On the 12th, Hong Kong’s South China Morning Post reported that Japan’s “Surface Mobile Corps” is headquartered in Aigaura. This unit was established in 2018, which is modeled on the U.S. Marine Corps and is mainly responsible for defending remote islands in Japan. Aura is less than 1,000 kilometers from Diaoyutai.
According to a report in the Japanese newspaper Yomiuri Shimbun, this is the first time that the Japanese Land Self-Defense Force and the French Army have conducted exercises in Japan. The total number of participants is about 220, including about 100 from the Japanese Self-Defense Forces, including the “Surface Mobile Corps,” and about 60 each from the U.S. Marine Corps and the French Army. Japan, the U.S. and France are deepening their defense cooperation to strengthen their deterrence against Chinese (communist) countries that are taking hegemonic actions in the Indo-Pacific region. In addition, the Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Force, the U.S., French, and Australian troops have been training together in the East China Sea since the 14th.
There is no doubt that this military exercise is a deterrent to China’s increasingly aggressive behavior in the region,” said Takashi Kawakami, a professor at Japan’s Takushoku University. In the long run, Europe’s commitment to the Indo-Pacific region will likely strengthen the relationship between Japan and NATO that former Prime Minister Abe preached.”
According to Chinese military expert Song Zhongping, the so-called “alley warfare” is clearly aimed at Taiwan, and if a military conflict breaks out in the Taiwan Strait one day, the Chinese Communist military is bound to conduct alley warfare after landing.
Song Zhongping said there is a possibility that the exercise course, that is, the United States, Australia and Japan’s coalition forces, will probably land in Taiwan in advance to assist the Taiwanese army in the alley war.
“If that happens, it means the U.S. will keep expanding and escalating the war, and this military exercise already reflects that the U.S. military has this in mind. However, the key is whether U.S. politicians will actively intervene in the military conflict in the Taiwan Strait according to the military’s intentions; what the military rehearses is the military’s business, but the key remains the U.S. government’s thinking.”
On the 12th, Kyodo News reported that Kan had planned to attend the Shangri-La Dialogue in Singapore in early June and would deliver a speech emphasizing a “free and open Indo-Pacific strategy.” Japanese Defense Minister Nobuo Kishi will also accompany him and meet with U.S. Defense Secretary Austin in Singapore, where the two sides will confirm their consensus on the situation in the East and South China Seas and Beijing’s increased military pressure on the Taiwan Strait in order to demonstrate Japan-U.S. unity.
According to the Nihon Keizai Shimbun, the French army “took the initiative” to participate in this military exercise, and Japan and the U.S. adjusted the schedule of this exercise to match the timing of the French army’s training fleet “Jeanne d’Arc” docking in Japan.
This is an unprecedented military move for Beijing and its neighbors, as France has not concluded a treaty with Japan, but suddenly participated in the Japanese military exercises.
According to the analysis of Rokkyo Hop, a lecturer at Futamatsu Gakushuin University, France has territories such as New Caledonia in the Pacific and has permanent bases. If China is able to cross the East and South China Seas into the Pacific Ocean, it will affect France’s overseas territories next.
As China’s access to the sea accelerates, France itself is again finding the strategic importance of its territories in the region. The Japanese media also said that Britain and Germany have also indicated that they will send ships to the Indo-Pacific region and are currently discussing with the Japanese Self-Defense Forces about joint exercises.