The US and Japan on Wednesday announced steps to strengthen military cooperation to better confront China after Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin and Secretary of State Antony Blinken met with their Japanese counterparts in Washington.
The meeting came after the government of Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida rolled out a new national security strategy that names China its top “challenge,” reflecting similar language used by the Pentagon. His government also announced a plan to double military spending by 2027.
“The Ministers welcomed the release of their respective National Security Strategies and National Defense Strategies, and confirmed unprecedented alignment of their vision, priorities, and goals,” Blinken, Austin, and their Japanese counterparts said in a joint statement.
The officials said they agreed “that China’s foreign policy seeks to reshape the international order to its benefit and to employ China’s growing political, economic, military, and technological power to that end” and that this “behavior is of serious concern to the Alliance.”
At a press conference, Austin reaffirmed that Japan falls under the protection of the US nuclear umbrella. “Japan and the United States remain united in our concern over China’s destabilizing actions, and I want to reaffirm the United States’ ironclad commitment to defend Japan with the full range of capabilities, including nuclear,” he said.
The US welcomed Japan’s plan to gain “counterstrike” capabilities by purchasing US-made Tomahawk missiles, which have a range of about 1,000 miles. Acquiring the weapons breaks from Japan’s post-World War II constitution that restricted its military to self-defense capabilities.
The officials formally announced a plan to deploy a Marine Littoral Regiment to Okinawa, a prefecture of Japan where many locals are opposed to the heavy US military presence. The Marines will be deployed by 2025, and the unit will be armed with anti-ship missiles and other lightweight equipment so they can move quickly around islands in the region, and the regiment will consist of about 2,200 Marines.
The officials highlighted the “temporary” deployment of US MQ-9 Reaper drones to the Kanoya Air Base in southern Japan’s Kagoshima Prefecture. The point of the deployment is to “raise maritime domain awareness” in the East China Sea, an area of tension between Japan and China.
They said that the US and Japan will soon sign a new agreement on cooperation in space. The deal will extend US mutual defense commitments to Japanese assets in space, meaning the US will be obligated to go to war in response to an attack on Japanese satellites.
More agreements could be announced this Friday when Kishida meets with President Biden in Washington. The Japanese leader was in London on Wednesday and signed a military pact with Prime Minister Rishi Sunak that will allow the deployment of British troops in Japan.
24 thoughts on “US, Japan Announce Steps to Strengthen Military Cooperation Against China”
The MIC is going to go into overdrive…
We would surely go to war over the ‘International Order’….
We must be fated to it, like a destiny….
British Troops to Japan?….
This is a reshuffling of the deck…
I have no bloody desire to get my beautiful a– nuked!
We are a failed experiment…
Tell me more, tell me more, was it love on first sight?
Japan has a negative population growth and the ones still young are playing dance dance video games. So sad to see them so dependent on US.
Negative population growth is the mark of a mature society recognizing the natural limits to growth explained so clearly in 1972.
The question is; Can mortals commence qualitative growth forever and abandon the childish path of faster and faster growth to extinction?
I find this rather disconcerting… I sure as hell hope we are not gearing up for war against China… World War 3 anyone?….! Which will be nuclear and then there is World War 4, which will be fought with sticks and stones… I’m going to light a joint and think about this….
It was Einstein that said World War Three would be our last.
We are going to go to WAR. Nuclear f-cking war!
Stupid effing humans! We are tragic…
Aha, another small country full of people ready to die in a US provoked war, and this time we’re also explicit that we’re prepared to launch nukes upwind of Japan, surely that will set their minds at ease.
Are we looking for another war? WWIII? With China?
Funny how history repeats itself, repeatedly. It seems the Japanese forget their history just as much as we do.
“Commitments in Space”? Very futuristic………………..
What if, and I’m just throwing this out here, but what if Japan signed some sort of treaty with China about peace and cooperation? That way both countries could spend money on roads, bridges, hospitals, etc., instead of spending money on ways to kill people, which would hopefully just be wasted. Maybe I should email them this.
Do email them. 😉
You have a very good heart TC.
I really think the Japanese people won’t go for another war after their last disastrous attempt at expansion. And, there’s nothing the Koreans and Chinese would like to do than get even for the atrocities committed by Japan in WWII. The E. Asian mind believes in generational and collective guilt and national collective vendettas are part of their culture.
Japan’s last disastrous attempt at expansion ended almost 80 years ago. Many people are too young to remember what catastrophic defeat looks like, and the nationalism associated with that war never completely died. There are still ruckuses every time a Japanese politicians visits a war shrine, and those politicians keep making those visits because there’s a voter base for it.
Hell, it was less than two decades after ignominious defeat in Vietnam that the US was completely back into the global war game (it never got COMPLETELY out). Trusting people to learn from history is a bad bet.
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