The exercises are scheduled to take place from July 26 to July 29 at the Nyutabaru Air Base in Miyazaki Prefecture and in the Kanto region in eastern Japan.
The Japan Aerial Defense Forces will conduct joint military exercises with the French Air Force for the first time in history, as reported by Sarbaz.kz citing Nikkei Asia.
The Japanese Defense Forces will be represented by three F-15 fighters, two F-2 fighters, a KC-767 transport aircraft, and a C-2 transport aircraft. The French side will be represented by two Dassault Rafale fighters and an Airbus A330 with Airbus A400M, along with a contingent of 120 personnel.
These exercises are part of the long-range transcontinental maneuvers known as Pégase 2023, conducted by the French army from June 25 to August 3. The maneuvers cover the entire Indo-Pacific region, including Japan, South Korea, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Qatar, Djibouti, and other countries.
France has always considered itself an interested party in maintaining security in the Indo-Pacific region, given its former colonies and overseas territories in the area. Similar to its approach in the Francophone part of Africa, France acts as a guarantor of peace and stability in these regions, and it follows a similar approach in the Indo-Pacific region. This is particularly important considering that approximately 1.6 million French citizens reside in that region, and there are overseas departments such as New Caledonia and French Polynesia.
Admiral Pierre Vandier, Chief of Staff of the French Navy, stated in an interview in Tokyo in November 2022 that it is essential for countries operating in the Indo-Pacific region to maintain a dialogue with China. This approach aligns with the foreign policy doctrine of the Macron administration, which rejected the division of the Indo-Pacific region into two spheres of influence – American and Chinese. Instead, France aims for its own "third way" to reduce tensions in the region.