France, Japan form alliance targeting Chinese influence in Africa [World Socialist Website]

By Kumaran Ira

13 January 2014

France and Japan agreed to cooperate on military and economic issues after Japan’s foreign and defense ministers visited Paris for “two-plus-two” talks with their French counterparts on Thursday.

Speaking in Paris, Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida said, “The agreement will open up a new dimension for our cooperation on security and defense.”

Paris and Tokyo agreed to set up a joint committee to discuss the development of military equipment and management of weapons exports. Japan is reportedly interested in particular in French military technology such as next-generation helicopters, submarine propulsion and underwater drones.

The “two-plus-two” talks follow an accord signed by Paris and Tokyo last June, when French President François Hollande officially visited Japan. During Hollande’s visit, both countries agreed to deepen cooperation on nuclear reactor exports and to prepare to work together on the development of military equipment.

The current France-Japan talks focused largely on a stepped-up imperialist intervention in Africa, to destroy China’s rising influence in the continent. Japan pledged to support ongoing French wars in two former French colonies, Mali and the Central African Republic (CAR).

Japan has contributed €735 million to the French military intervention in Mali. Paris expects that Tokyo will also provide financial assistance for France’s war in CAR.

The new defense cooperation between Paris and Tokyo comes amid escalating military tensions between the major powers that, as is noted even in the bourgeois press, directly pose the risk of global war. (See: “Geo-political tensions raise spectre of 1914 Great War”)…

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