Pacific Amphibious Leaders Symposium underway in Tokyo

The commanders of amphibious forces in the Indo-Pacific and other regions are holding meetings in Japan aimed at enhancing cooperation.

About 70 people from 18 countries attended the opening ceremony of the Pacific Amphibious Leaders Symposium, or PALS, in Tokyo on Monday. Australia, the Philippines, Britain and France are among the nations participating.

PALS is being held in the Japanese capital for the first time. The US suggested the location, as China has been engaging in more maritime activities.

The US Marine Corps originally came up with the idea to hold a series of meetings. The first PALS was convened seven years ago. Its aim was to try to bring about peace and stability in the Indo-Pacific region by improving the amphibious capabilities of friendly countries.

Japan's Ground Self-Defense Force Chief of Staff Yoshida Yoshihide called on participants to work together. He said the Indo-Pacific region is dealing with multiple threats, such as competition between world powers, challenges to the nuclear non-proliferation regime and terrorism.

The participants are scheduled to attend plenary meetings and visit one SDF base and one camp. They will also examine the GSDF's amphibious vehicles and Osprey transport aircraft that belong to the GSDF and the US Marines. The symposium is due to end on Thursday.