Germany to send naval frigate to Japan with eye on China

Germany to send naval frigate to Japan with eye on China

Berlin takes a first step in its new Indo-Pacific strategy

LONDON — The German government is considering sending a naval frigate to Japan as part of its new focus on the Indo-Pacific, Nikkei has learned.

The ship would sail from Germany as early as summer, with likely port calls including South Korea and Australia.

It is a rare move for Berlin, which has no Indo-Pacific territories of its own, unlike the U.K. and France. Sailing through the disputed South China Sea is also in the planning.

Last fall, the German cabinet approved new Indo-Pacific guidelines that stress the importance of the rule of law and promoting open markets in the region. The frigate deployment will be a first step in realizing the new strategy.

Thomas Silberhorn, parliamentary state secretary for the Defense Ministry, told Nikkei: “We hope to set sail this summer. We have not decided on the details yet, but we are looking at Japan” as a possible port of call. “We want to deepen our ties with our partners in the democratic camp,” he said.