Singapore, Japan to be France's Bastille Day honorees

Mirage 2000N jets of the La Fayette squadron fly above during the annual Bastille Day military parade on the Champs-Elysees avenue in Paris on July 14, 2016.

PARIS - Japan and Singapore will be guests of honour at this year's Bastille Day parade in Paris, France announced on Thursday (June 28), a year after United States Donald President Trump enjoyed a front seat at the military display.

Each year the French president invites a country to join in the huge parade down the famous Champs Elysees on July 14, the country's national holiday.

Two months after he became president in 2017, Mr Emmanuel Macron hosted Mr Trump at the celebration, which featured Republican Guards on horseback and jets roaring overhead.

This year Mr Macron has invited Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his Singaporean counterpart Lee Hsien Loong, the French military said, underscoring his attempt to bolster defence ties with partners in the Asia-Pacific region.

Singapore is one of the French air force's main allies in southeast Asia. The tiny city state has sent scores of fighter pilots for training in France over the past 20 years.

The parade will also celebrate 160 years of diplomatic ties between France and Japan.

The two countries have been invited to send troops to march alongside more than 4,000 members of the French armed forces, police and gendarmerie.