The Eurofighter’s left wing has the Australian and Singaporean flags, and its right wing has the Japanese and Korean flags. It was highly unusual for such a bigwig to travel eight hours from Singapore to take the controls of the Eurofighter himself. That is how much he wanted to appeal to the international community,” said military journalist Akihiro Ito.
On September 28, a Eurofighter, a fighter jet of the German Air Force, made its first visit to Japan. As part of “Rapid Pacific 2022,” a large-scale deployment exercise in the Indo-Pacific region that the German Air Force has been conducting since August of this year, three Eurofighters landed at the Hyakuri Air Base in Ibaraki, Japan. Three Eurofighters landed at the base to conduct joint training with the Self-Defense Forces. One of the planes has the flags of Australia, Singapore, South Korea, and Japan printed on its wings, giving it the nickname “Air Ambassador.
The purpose of the “Rapid Pacific” is to strengthen the partnership with the Indo-Pacific region in the area of security, but the idea behind it is to check China.
As a core member of NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization), the “Rapid Pacific” is supposedly aimed at making a clear statement that the U.S. will counter China’s efforts to increase its military power and expand its hegemony in the region. On top of this, Germany attaches great importance to Japan. Three Eurofighter aircraft have been to South Korea, but none of them are specially painted. It is clear from the design that the Japanese flag is printed prominently on the aircraft that they place great importance on Japan,” said Mr. Ito.
On the other hand, about 110 Japanese personnel from the Hyakuri Air Base greeted the Eurofighter. Before landing at the base, the chief of staff of the Air Self-Defense Force personally welcomed the Eurofighter in an F2 fighter jet over Mt.
While appealing to the international community, Germany has taken care not to provoke China too much by taking flight routes that avoid the skies over Taiwan. My impression is that Germany is conducting strong diplomacy.
Hundreds of aviation fans gathered at the Hyakuri Air Base to get a glimpse of the Eurofighter on its first visit to Japan. Behind the friendly atmosphere of the joint training exercise, there were various agendas stirring in the air.
From the October 21, 2022 issue of FRIDAY
Photo by： Kenji Otsuka