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Japan, US, France joint military drills set for Kyushu in May

SDF strengthens ties with European peers to counter China's rise

Ground Self Defense Force troops train in Kyushu in 2018: Japan's Self Defense Forces aim to bolster their ability to defend remote islands, such as the Senkaku Islands.

TOKYO -- Japan's defense minister, Nobuo Kishi, announced at a news conference on Friday that Japan, the U.S. and France will conduct joint military drills on the southern Japanese island of Kyushu in May.

Japan Ground Self-Defense Force troops, U.S. Marines, and French Army troops will participate. The drills aim to bolster their ability to conduct joint operations to defend remote islands. With China's increasingly frequent maritime forays in the East China Sea in mind, particularly around the Senkaku Islands, which are administered by Tokyo but claimed by Beijing, Japan hopes to improve its ability to work with allies in defense.

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