United States and Japan An attack in space would trigger a security treaty, they said, as senior officials from both countries have warned about China It represents the “biggest strategic challenge” to regional security.
“We agree on that [China] “It is the greatest joint strategic challenge that we, our allies and partners face,” US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken said on Thursday after meeting his Japanese counterpart, Yoshimasa Hayashi, in Washington.
The US and Japanese defense secretaries agreed that attacks “to, from, and within space” could invoke Article V of their security treaty, which states that an attack on one ally is an attack on both.
The United States has also strongly supported Japan’s plans to significantly bolster its defenses, including the ability to attack enemy bases if it believes an attack is imminent — a move criticized by some as violation One of the principles of “pacifism” enshrined in the post-war constitution.
“It’s very simple,” Blinken said, “and we very much welcome the new strategies especially because there is…a remarkable convergence between our strategy, ours, and Japan’s.”
The Blinken-Hayashi meeting, which was also attended by Japanese Defense Minister Yasukazu Hamada and US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin, comes weeks after Japan announced it would take place. The largest military build-up since World War IIincluding plans to acquire the ability to conduct “counter strikes” against enemy bases.
“The ministers agreed that China’s foreign policy seeks to reshape the international system in its favor and to employ China’s growing political, economic, military and technological power to this end,” the four said in a joint statement. “This behavior is a matter of grave concern to the Coalition and the entire international community.”
Concern has grown about Chinese military activity near Taiwan, along with a series of ballistic missile tests North Korea Over the past year, this has led to a further shift from the strictly defensive stance Japan adopted after its defeat in 1945.
Under updated strategies announced last month, it hopes to double defense spending to 2% of GDP in fiscal 2027 — bringing it in line with NATO countries — including by purchasing hundreds of US-made Tomahawk cruise missiles.
Hayashi said Washington and Tokyo share “a vision of a modern alliance to get the position to win in a new era of strategic competition.”
The two countries also agreed to create a “more flexible” US naval unit based on the southern island of Okinawa that would be better positioned to respond to emergencies around Japan’s southwestern islands, which lie close to Taiwan.
“I believe this will contribute greatly to our efforts to help defend Japan and also promote a free and open Indo-Pacific,” Austin said, adding that the unit, which was formed from an existing regiment reorganized in Okinawa, should be in place by 2025.
Japan hosts 18,000 US Marines – the largest concentration outside the US – and most of them are stationed on the main island of Okinawa, part of a chain that stretches along the edge of the East China Sea to about 100 kilometers (62 miles) from Taiwan.
China which Claims that democratic Taiwan is part of its territoryHe was convicted last year after conducting drills that many saw as a test run for the island’s invasion.
“I’m not going to guess Mr. Xi, but what I will tell you is that what we’ve been seeing lately is very provocative behavior on the part of Chinese forces,” Austin said, referring to Chinese leader Xi Jinping.
“We think they are seeking to establish a new normal, but whether or not that means an invasion is imminent, I seriously doubt it,” he said.
The four-way talks took place a day before they met with Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida Joe Biden To drum up support for Japan’s presidency of the Group of Seven, whose leaders will Meet in Hiroshima in May.
Earlier this week, Kishida and the British Prime Minister, Rishi Sunak, signed a defense pact that will enable Britain and Japan to station forces on each other’s territory, in the latest move towards closer security ties.
Sunak described the agreement as “very important” for both countries, adding that it “reinforces our commitment to the Indo-Pacific region.”
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