The German warship Bayern made a port call in Tokyo earlier this month after holding joint exercises with the Maritime Self-Defense Force in waters south of the nation's capital.

The visit to Japan by the frigate, which began on Nov. 5, was the first for a German military vessel in some 20 years, and is part of a broader mission to show support for freedom of navigation and open societies in the Indo-Pacific region. On its return voyage, the warship plans to sail through the South China Sea where China has been making expansive claims and asserting its power.

Security cooperation between European and Asian allies of the United States has been expanding for the last several years, but Germany is not among the usual players in this regard as it is not actively engaged in the geopolitics of the Indo-Pacific region, unlike the United Kingdom or France. That said, however, the world needs to pay attention to the security arrangements being made between Japan and Germany and their Indo-Pacific strategies for several reasons.