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Japan urges Europe to increase military presence in Asia to counter China


As Tokyo seeks to impose "excessive pressure" on Beijing against Chinese rule in the region, Japan's defense minister has called on European countries to have a military presence in Asia-Pacific.

Nobuo Kishi made his first statement to the European Parliamentary Committee on Security and Defense on Friday, urging the EU to reaffirm its commitment to the "Indo-Pacific region" and that both sides "maintain and expand" their security cooperation.

Kishi further criticized Beijing's two countries' attempts to change the situation by repression, as well as its efforts to combat the disputed territories of the South China Sea.
According to the South China Morning Post, he also expressed concern about "China's current state of affairs" changes in the East China Sea, including a controversial security law in January.

"The right of all international rights should not be violated by the law of security, and we will not tolerate anything that could escalate tensions in waters such as the East China Sea and the South China Sea," he said.

Meanwhile, a source familiar with Japan's defense policy said the speech was part of Japan's efforts to put the EU under greater pressure in Beijing.

"Japan hopes to use this opportunity to gain more EU involvement in the region. HMS Queen Elizabeth's visit to Japan will put a lot of pressure on Beijing this year," the source said.
Tensions between China and Japan have recently escalated due to Beijing's growing operations in the disputed East China Sea.

Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga and US President Joe Biden issued a joint statement in April expressing concern over the East and South China seas, as well as Taiwan Strait.

But Beijing has accused Tokyo of being the "king" of the United States after the meetings.

Japan will "continue to monitor vigilance" when changing the military balance in Taiwan Strait, Kishi said on Friday.

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