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Germany’s Scholz planning to visit Japan for talks on Ukraine war


German Chancellor Olaf Scholz is planning to visit Japan at the end of this month, sources familiar with the matter said Friday.

Scholz is expected to seek deeper cooperation with Tokyo on their response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, as well as on the Indo-Pacific region, during his first trip to Japan as chancellor.

Although Germany had amicable relations with China under former Chancellor Angela Merkel, it has grown increasingly concerned about Beijing’s assertiveness.

Since coming to office last December, Scholz has been pushing value-oriented diplomacy and seeking to strengthen cooperation with Indo-Pacific democracies such as Japan, Australia, Singapore and South Korea.

Last year, Berlin sent the frigate Bayern to the Indo-Pacific region, conducting a joint exercise with the Self-Defense Forces. The frigate also participated in monitoring activities for North Korea’s illegal ship-to-ship cargo transfers.

This year, Germany is considering sending fighter jets to Indo-Pacific countries such as Japan and Australia.

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