On Sunday, according to a report from Japan’s Sankei newspaper, Japan, the United States and France are scheduled to hold a joint military drills in May 2021 and comes at a time when the Chinese military is stepping up its military activities in the region.

The joint military exercise marks the first time that the three global powers will conduct land and sea military drills and will be conducted on one of Japan’s uninhabited outlying islands. While media reports say the military exercises will focus on providing relief efforts during natural disasters, given China’s expanding land claims in the region and its purported aim to dominate the globe militarily and technologically, the exercises could very well form the basis for a defense against any potential Chinese threat, said the paper without citing sources.

Japan’s Ministry of Defense did not immediately respond to requests for comments.

Among China many outlandish territorial claims, which also includes Russia’s Vladivostok with which it does not share any border, Beijing has laid claims to Japanese-controlled islands in the East China Sea.

“We want to demonstrate our presence to the region and send a message about Japan-France cooperation,” said Admiral Pierre Vandier, chief of staff of the French navy, in a separate interview to Sankei. “This is a message aimed at China. This is a message about multi-lateral partnerships and the freedom of passage.”

Just like China has denied the existence of its modern concentration camps in Xinjiang, is said its intentions in the region are peaceful.

To support its claims on these islands, it has even named them as Diaoyu.

Japan is particularly concerned about a rise in Chinese naval activity around the disputed islands in the East China Sea which it has historically called Senkaku.