Diplomacy: Japan and US “Strategic Alignment” Against China

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DiplomacyJapan and America’s “Strategic Alignment” in the Face of China

The United States and Japan on Wednesday expressed their “strategic alignment” on expanding defenses in space, amid growing concerns over China.

U.S. Secretary of State Anthony Blinken and Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin during a press conference in Washington, Jan. 11, 2023.

AFP

“We agree that China presents a very important strategic challenge” to both countries, US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken said at the end of a meeting in Washington with his Japanese counterpart, Yoshimasa Hayashi, and the US and Japanese. Security leaders.

Speaking at a joint press conference, Antony Blinken assured that the US “warmly welcomes” the new Japanese defense posture and clarified that the defense and security agreement between the two countries also applies to space. Any incident in outer space could trigger Article 5 of the Defense Treaty between the two countries, which states that an attack on one is an attack on the other, he said.

For his part, U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin announced the deployment of a quick-reaction force of Marines on the Japanese island of Okinawa by 2025, bolstering Japan’s defenses. “We’re going to replace the Artillery Brigade with this force, which is more lethal and more mobile,” Lloyd Austin announced during this press conference. He felt that the force would “contribute greatly to the enhancement of Japan’s security and the development of a free and open Indo-Pacific region,” a term commonly used in the United States to refer to the Asia-Pacific region. More than half of the approximately 50,000 American soldiers stationed in the archipelago are stationed on the island of Okinawa.

Meeting with Joe Biden

Wednesday’s meeting comes ahead of Friday’s meeting between President Joe Biden and Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, who are touring Europe and North America. Fumio Kishida, who will hold the presidency of the G7 in 2023, visited France and Italy and was in Great Britain on Wednesday, where he signed a “mutual access agreement”. He is also scheduled to leave for Canada on Thursday.

In Washington, ministers welcomed this “modernized alliance” to face a new era of “strategic competition with China,” according to the head of Japanese diplomacy.

Japan approved a major revision of its defense doctrine in December that specifically provides for a massive increase in its military spending over five years. It was an important turning point for a country whose pacifist constitution, adopted the day after its defeat at the end of World War II, prohibited in principle from equipping itself with a real army.

The Taiwan issue and North Korea’s denuclearization were also at the center of the talks, officials said. North Korean missiles and China’s “increasing bellicose behavior” should “show that you have a way to deter any potential adversary,” a senior US diplomat said on condition of anonymity before the meeting. “The Japanese don’t want to go down the path of nuclear weapons, and that’s not something we support, but having the ability to fight back is deterrence,” he says.

(AFP)

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