Tokyo to invite Asean air force officers to watch Japan’s military training

  • Defence Minister Takeshi Iwaya insisted ‘region is facing complicated security issues’ that countries ‘need to collectively deal with’
PUBLISHED : Saturday, 20 October, 2018, 2:47pm
UPDATED : Saturday, 20 October, 2018, 2:47pm

Japan’s Defence Minister Takeshi Iwaya said on Saturday Tokyo will invite commissioned air force officers from every member state of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations to observe Air Self-Defence Force training.

“The Indo-Pacific region is facing complicated security issues and we need to collectively deal with them,” Iwaya told an Asean meeting in Singapore with his counterparts from the Asean region, an area in which China has been increasing its influence.

Iwaya also expressed his willingness to invite field officers to the Self-Defence Forces’ table-top exercises while expanding Japan’s humanitarian and disaster-relief support to the region.

“Defence cooperation between Japan and Asean is important in reinforcing a free and open Indo-Pacific,” Iwaya said.

The meeting between Japan and Asean defence ministers was first held in 2014. In 2016, Japan proposed its “Vientiane Vision” for maritime security cooperation, an initiative which envisages Japanese help in such areas as information gathering and surveillance.