Germany to send military planes to Indo-Pacific

BERLIN (Jiji Press) — The German Air Force will send military aircraft to Indo-Pacific countries including Japan, Australia, South Korea and Singapore for the first time from Monday for joint drills and other activities.

Germany hopes to deepen military ties with Asian democracies while stepping up efforts to check China’s hegemonic ambitions.

Now that war of aggression has returned to Europe, Germany is also watching with concern the axis of confrontation in the Indo-Pacific region, Lt. Gen. Ingo Gerhartz, chief of the German Air Force, said in a written interview, with Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in mind.

Through the dispatch of the aircraft, including six Eurofighter jets, Germany aims to show that it is thinking about security beyond Europe, Gerhartz said, expressing eagerness to increase his country’s involvement in Asia including Japan.

Last year, the German Navy sent a frigate to the Indo-Pacific region including waters near Japan. The vessel participated in monitoring activities to stop North Korea’s illegal ship-to-ship cargo transfers.

The aircraft dispatch is among the largest dispatch projects for the German Air Force since the end of World War II, according to Gerhartz. But Berlin is not sending a threatening signal to China, he added. The aircraft to be dispatched also include four A400M transport planes and three A330 MRTT refueling aircraft.