Japan, U.S. Say They’ll Work Together to Deter China Threats
(Bloomberg) -- The U.S. and Japan expressed concern about China’s efforts “to undermine the rules-based order” and resolved to work together to respond to its activities that threaten security, underscoring positions that have rankled Beijing.
At a virtual meeting of the two allies’ foreign and defense ministers Friday Japan time, the countries also “voiced concern about China’s activities in the East China Sea, which further undermine regional peace and stability,” according to a statement.
The talks among top officials came as anxiety builds over China’s growing military capabilities, including its nuclear arsenal and hypersonic systems that are spurring an arms race with the U.S. This week, North Korea also said it had successfully tested its second hypersonic missile.
In the meeting among Secretary of State Antony Blinken, Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin, Foreign Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi and Defense Minister Nobuo Kishi, the four also vowed to work together to counter the threat from hypersonic weapons.
The two sides agreed to cooperate “to deter, and, if necessary, respond to destabilizing activities in the region” and underscored the importance of peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait.
The U.S. and Japan also formalized a five-year agreement on troop funding, which will see Japan spending an average of 211 billion yen ($1.8 billion) a year to host about 50,000 U.S. military personnel and their families.
The four ministers emphasized the importance of coordinating to combat Covid, including sharing timely information on incidents. The statement came a day after Hayashi urged the U.S. to restrict the movements of its military personnel in Japan, as virus cases balloon to their worst-ever levels in areas close to some bases, after the country had kept the infection largely at bay for months.
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