Germany is interested in pursuing close security cooperation with Japan, especially in the Indo-Pacific region. Federal Minister of Defence Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer stressed this during a virtual meeting with her Japanese counterpart, Nobuo Kishi, on 15 December.
What are the goals pursued by the German government’s recently published policy guidelines on the Indo-Pacific region? What are possible common responses to threats endangering the rules-based order in the region? What does Japan expect from Germany? These were some of the questions discussed by Minister of Defence Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer and her Japanese counterpart Nobuo Kishi on 15 December.
In her conversation with Minister Nobuo Kishi, the German Defence Minister emphasised the shared values at the core of the partnership between Japan and Germany. She then spoke about the policy guidelines on the Indo-Pacific region recently published by the German government.
She stressed that Germany had a security interest in the region and intended to increase its presence there, for instance by dispatching German liaison officers to multilateral organisations, participating in military exercises or conducting port visits of navy units. She added that Germany was currently exploring the possibility of deploying a German navy vessel to the Indo-Pacific.
Ms Kramp-Karrenbauer went on to explain the German government’s intention to intensify cooperation with partners in the Indo-Pacific region within the framework of NATO. She then enquired about further potential for cooperation from the Japanese perspective.
The Minister stated that German engagement was always aimed at supporting inclusive, multilateral formats and forums of communication in order to address local security challenges such as the conflict in the East China Sea or the nuclear threat posed by North Korea.
In conclusion, she emphasised the German interest in cooperating with Japan in the area of cyber defence and with regard to the digital transformation of the armed forces, as well as on digital policy matters such as strengthening digital sovereignty, the role of research, and innovation in digital technologies of the future.
This virtual meeting with the Japanese Minister of Defence concluded the series of virtual talks on the Indo-Pacific organised by the Konrad Adenauer Foundation. Previously, Ms Kramp-Karrenbauer had talked to her Australian counterpart and to the Minister for Defence of Singapore. She also spoke at the Anniversary of the Founding of ASEANAssociation of Southeast Asian Nations Defence Ministers' Meeting Plus.