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News in brief
Aufnahmestopp
13.11.2015
Nach der partiellen Schließung der schwedischen Grenzen für Flüchtlinge verhängt das erste deutsche Bundesland einen Aufnahmestopp.

EU oder Krieg
09.11.2015
Luxemburgs Außenminister Jean Asselborn warnt vor einem Zerfall der EU.

Neue Lager
15.09.2015
Die Innenminister der EU haben sich auf Maßnahmen geeinigt, die Flüchtlinge aus Deutschland fernhalten sollen.

Krieg in Europa?
24.09.2014
Der ehemalige Bundeskanzler Helmut Schmidt warnt vor einem neuen Krieg in Europa.

Verletzte ausgeflogen
03.09.2014
Die Bundeswehr hat 20 verwundete Kämpfer aus der Ukraine zur Behandlung nach Deutschland ausgeflogen.

Außen und innen
26.08.2014
Der deutsche Außenminister moniert eine mangelnde Zustimmung in der Bevölkerung für eine offensive deutsche Weltpolitik.

Die Verantwortung Berlins
20.05.2014
Der ehemalige EU-Kommissar Günter Verheugen erhebt im Konflikt um die Ukraine schwere Vorwürfe gegen Berlin.

"Ein gutes Deutschland"
30.04.2014
Das deutsche Staatsoberhaupt schwingt sich zum Lehrmeister der Türkei auf.

Die Dynamik des "Pravy Sektor"
11.03.2014
Der Jugendverband der NPD kündigt einen "Europakongress" unter Beteiligung des "Pravy Sektor" ("Rechter Sektor") aus der Ukraine an.

Der Mann der Deutschen
18.02.2014
Die deutsche Kanzlerin hat am gestrigen Montag zwei Anführer der Proteste in der Ukraine empfangen.

Arms Buildup Against China
2017/07/28
BERLIN/TOKYO/SEOUL
(Own report) - Berlin is expanding its military and arms industry cooperation with the People's Republic of China's East Asian rivals. A few days ago, the German and Japanese defense ministries signed an agreement to intensify their "cooperation in the defense technology sector." For years, the German arms industry has been seeking to enhance its standing on Tokyo's arms market, which is continuously expanding, primarily due to the power struggle with Beijing. Cooperation is also growing between the armed forces of Germany and Japan. The German Armed Forces Staff College in Hamburg recently concluded an agreement to this effect. Cooperation with the South Korean military is likewise being intensified. Seoul, one of the German arms industry's most important customers, has already placed South Korean warships at the disposal of the EU's operation in the war on piracy at the Horn of Africa.
Tensions in East Asia
For years, Berlin has been seeking to enhance its cooperation with Tokyo in the field of military policy and arms industry, because of the growing tensions in East Asia. On the one hand, the conflict between the West and North Korea is escalating,[1] and on the other, the USA and - to a lesser degree - the EU have taken up a power struggle with China for influence in the South and East China Seas.[2] Japan, the USA's closest ally in the region, is cooperating with NATO and is considered the key ally for the West in East Asia's escalating conflicts. Japan is, itself, engaged in a massive arms buildup. Prime Minister Shinzō Abe has increased - for the fifth consecutive year - the current fiscal year's military budget, seeks to abolish the article of the constitution, forbidding foreign military operations and has also embarked on a strongly nationalist course. (german-foreign-policy.com reported.[3]) The German establishment welcomes and supports these developments. During his visit to Japan in November 2016, the outgoing German President Joachim Gauck had appealed to the Japanese population - still very opposed to the constitutional change - to approve the militarization of their country.[4]
"Course for Senior Officials" in Tokyo
The German government's systematically pursued military cooperation with Japan covers several fields. Both countries' navies are mutually making regular visits, have carried out joint tactical maneuvers and have dispatched military personnel to participate in each others training cruises. The parallel deployments in the war on piracy at the Horn of Africa - Japan is also participating - help facilitate the improvement of their relations. For years, intentions of enhancing cooperation between the armed forces have been expressed, albeit without decisive progress. Between the Air Force and medical corps of Germany and Japan closer contacts have at least been initiated. The German Armed Forces Staff College in Hamburg and Japan's Joint Staff College in Tokyo agreed in early June, to make regular exchanges for military training, which will be stabilized through mutual visits.[5] The German Federal College for Security Studies (BAKS) is intensifying its contacts to Japan's National Institute for Defense Studies (NIDS) - for example, within the framework of its "Course for Senior Officials," whose participants regularly visit Tokyo.
With German Smoothbore Guns
For years, German arms manufacturers have also been seeking better access to the Japanese arms market, which promises attractive profits, due to the growing Japanese defense budget. Until now, Germany's arms exports to Japan have been very limited. German companies have been able to land small deals, for example, Rheinmetall equipped the Japanese Type 9 and Type 10 battle tanks with 120-mm smoothbore guns. However, annual German arms exports to Japan have stagnated at only a double digit million. Already in 2011, German arms manufacturers were pushing Berlin to open the "traditionally rather closed Japanese market" for their products,[6] so far, without much success. At the beginning of 2015, the governments of both countries initiated talks on an agreement, signed July 17, 2017. According to the defense ministry, the agreement creates the "framework for cooperation in the sector of defense technology."[7] Japan is particularly interested in faster tanks that can serve as troop transport carriers for Japan's outlying islands, as reported in Japanese media.[8]
Submarines, Cruise Missiles, Ammunition...
Unlike Japan, South Korea - also a close US military ally, where large US military contingents are stationed - has, for years, been one of Germany's most important military hardware customers outside the EU and NATO. From 2001 to 2012 alone, German arms exports to South Korea totaled €4.4 billion. Since then they have leveled off between €200 and €500 million annually. HDW Class 214 submarines are an important item in South Korean procurements from Germany. Nine of these submarines are being built under HDW license, on the basis of German design and with German supplies at South Korean shipyards. Seoul has also bought Patriot anti-aircraft missiles and is purchasing German Taurus KEPD 350K air-to-surface cruise missiles. According to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), between 2012 and 2016, Germany was South Koreas second largest major weapons systems supplier. South Korea also buys German firearms - for example, Heckler and Koch automatic rifles, as well as large quantities of German ammunition.
Operating for the EU
Berlin is now obviously seeking also closer cooperation between the armies of both countries. South Korean officers are already participating in courses for generals and admirals at the German Armed Forces Staff College in Hamburg. A larger delegation of the Joint Forces Military University from Daejeon is visiting the German College once a year for professional consultations. In return, a delegation of the Airborne Brigade 1 in Saarlouis visited South Korea from June 17 to 24. "The exchange of specialists for joint training at German and South Korean training institutions" could "further deepen" relations between the armed forces of both countries, according to the head of the Bundeswehr delegation, Lieutenant Colonel Jürgen Auweiler, who praised the "exceptional discipline" of the South Korean soldiers.[9] The South Korean navy is already participating in EU military operations on the legal basis of the Framework Participation Agreement with the EU, ratified by Seoul on November 3, 2016. The German foreign ministry noted that, in March, South Korea had placed its "warships operating at the Horn of Africa at the disposal of the EU Atalanta-Mission" [10] - with the Choi Young destroyer joining the EU operation. Brussels is thus extending its warfare potential.
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