Japanese defence forces will participate for the first time in military activities in Indonesia next month, Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said on Wednesday after talks with Indonesian President Joko Widodo.
Japan’s involvement comes as Washington and its regional allies step up efforts to counter China’s growing assertiveness in the Indo-Pacific region.
“Indonesia shares fundamental values with us as well as strategic goals, it is a strategic partner,” Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida told a news conference after his meeting with the Indonesian president.
He said Japan’s Self-Defence Forces will take part in the Garuda Shield joint military exercises to be held in Indonesia from Aug. 1 with the United States, Australia and others. It will be the first time that Japan has participated.
The annual exercises, typically between Indonesia and the United States, will be “significantly larger in scope and scale” than in previous years, the United States has said.