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    Japan Confirms Participation in Large-Scale Naval Drills With France, UK, US

    © RIA Novosti . Andrey Bichurov
    Asia & Pacific
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    Japan has confirmed that its Maritime Self-Defense Forces will take part in naval drills in the Western Pacific together with France, the United Kingdom and the United States, amid the expansion of China's military activity in the East China Sea, Japanese media reported Tuesday.

    TOKYO (Sputnik) — Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said following a meeting with French President Francois Hollande on Monday that French training squadron was expected to arrive in Japan in April, the Kyodo news agency reported.

    According to the Japanese media, the exercises are to take place on the second and third weeks of May in the western part of the Pacific Ocean, including the Mariana Islands.

    Hollande and Abe also agreed on cooperation in the nuclear energy area, namely fast reactor development project ASTRID, according to the agency.

    Japan's relations with China are tense due to a territorial dispute over the Senkaku Islands in the East China Sea. China stepped up military activity in the area over recent weeks, with over a dozen Chinese jets approaching Japanese airspace near Okinawa.


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