German naval vessels depart for Indo-Pacific to take part in joint drills

German navy vessels have set off for the Indo-Pacific region to make port calls and hold joint drills with its local partners amid China's increasing maritime activities in the area.

A departure ceremony was held for the supply vessel Frankfurt am Main at the northern German navy base in Wilhelmshaven on Tuesday. German defense minister Boris Pistorius attended the ceremony.

The supply ship and a German frigate departing from a Spanish harbor will meet at sea. Together, they will participate in a US-hosted multinational military drill this summer. They will then head to Japan, where they are scheduled to hold joint drills with the country's Maritime Self-Defense Force in August.

The German government has expressed its determination to actively contribute to stability and security in the Indo-Pacific. It began deploying its forces to the region in 2021.

This year, Germany is also sending its Air Force to the region from mid-June to mid-August. A joint exercise is planned with Japan's Air Self-Defense Force.

As Russia's invasion of Ukraine drags on, surveillance activities in the Baltic Sea and other areas have put an additional burden on the German military.

But Pistorius says Germany wants to strengthen its regional partnerships and establish a firm and trusted presence.