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Sounding alarm on China, Japan and U.S. vow to collaborate more on defence

Sounding alarm on China, Japan and U.S. vow to collaborate more on defence
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TOKYO/WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The United States and Japan on Friday expressed grave concern about the growing power of China and pledged to work together to repel attempts to destabilize the region, including emerging defense threats.

Comments from the two allies, in a joint statement following the virtual “two plus two” meeting of foreign and defense ministers, highlight how deepening concern about China – and rising tension over Taiwan – have led to Japan’s increased security role. concentration.

The joint statement said the ministers at their meeting expressed their concerns that China’s efforts to “undermine the rules-based order” pose “political, economic, military and technological challenges to the region and the world.”

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“They are resolved to work together to deter and, if necessary, respond to destabilizing activities in the region,” the statement read.

The ministers also said they had “serious and persistent concerns” about human rights issues in China’s Xinjiang and Hong Kong regions, and stressed the importance of peace and stability in the Taiwan Straits.

While peaceful Japan maintains close economic ties with China, there is growing concern in Tokyo about a possible move by Beijing against democratic Taiwan.

said Daniel Russell, who served as Obama’s chief US diplomat for Asia and is now with the Asia Society Policy Institute.

“In particular, the expression of a common determination to respond, if necessary, to destabilizing activities comes as a powerful expression of alliance solidarity and determination.”

Earlier, US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken said the two countries would sign a new defense cooperation agreement to counter emerging threats, including hypersonic and space-based capabilities.

New tools

The US-Japan alliance “must not only strengthen the tools we have, but also develop new ones,” Blinken said, referring to Russia’s military buildup against Ukraine, Beijing’s “provocative” actions over Taiwan and North Korea’s recent missile launch. North Korea this week launched a “hypersonic missile” that successfully hit a target, the North’s Korean Central News Agency said.

After the meeting, Japanese Foreign Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi said Tokyo had made clear its plan to review the National Security Strategy to primarily enhance defense capabilities, which he said had strong support from his American counterparts.

Prime Minister Fumio Kishida promised in October to review Japan’s security strategy to consider “all options including the acquisition of so-called enemy attack capabilities”.

The Kishida government approved record defense spending, with a tenth consecutive annual increase in 2022.

While Japan’s options for the use of force are realistically limited, the emergency in Taiwan would be one possible scenario that Japan might consider threatening its survival, said Jeffrey Hornung, a Japanese security policy expert at the Rand Corporation, a US-backed think tank.

“There are no coded messages here,” Hornung said.

“China is the challenge and they said it just as much, and then detailed all the ways the Alliance was determined to act to counter its destabilizing activities.”

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Additional reporting by David Bronstrom, Dan Whitcombe, Rami Ayoub, Go Min Park, Kiyoshi Takenaka; Editing by David Dolan and Richard Boleyn

Our Standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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