The French amphibious assault carrier arrived in naval base of Sasebo, Japan on Saturday ahead of drills that might increase the tension in whole South East Asia considering the drama currently going on.
This might result in China getting upset considering the pressure from Trump administration forcing China to man up against one of its oldest partners, North Korea.
US and Japan are also to participate in drills with Indian navy, under Ex Malabar this year aimed at containing China in IOR.
Japan and the United States are worried by China’s efforts to extend its influence beyond its coastal waters and the South China Sea by acquiring power-projecting aircraft carriers, a concern shared by France, which controls several Pacific islands, including New Caledonia and French Polynesia.
Mistral will lead exercises next month near Guam, along with Japanese, American and British forces practising amphibious landings around Tinian, an island about 2,500 km (1,553 miles) south of Tokyo.
The drills would involve about 700 troops and were planned well before the most recent unsuccessful ballistic missile launch by North Korea on Saturday.
The Mistral forms part of an amphibious task force mission, the Jeanne d’Arc, that is “a potent support to French diplomacy,” the country’s defense ministry said in a statement.
Mistral is on the move since February when it left France. The ship can carry upto 16 heavy or 35 light helicopters as its air wing complement, upto 900 troops on short deployment or 450 on long ones and upto 59 vehicles including 13 AMX Leclerc Tanks. At the moment Ship is also carrying two helicopters from Royal Navy.
Pic credits – REUTERS/Nobuhiro Kubo