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US and Japan Upgrade Military Security Alliance

To Counter China, Japan and US Forging Closer Military Ties

The Russian-Ukrain War and aggresive Chinese moves against the Phillipines and Asian Pacific are a reminder that the risk of conflict looms large. The expanding alliance between China, Russia and North Korea are a direct threat to Japan.  This adds to the geopolitical risk not only in the Pacific area but to the wider US led world order.

Potential moves to change the status quo in Taiwan and the Philipines have huge ramifications for Japanese security and likewise US security in the Pacific and beyond. Thus, it is not surprising that the US and Japan have annouced closer ties between each other and other key countries in the region. Thus in addition to US-Japan ties, stronger ties with South Korea, Australia, India and the Philipines are taking shape to counter potential moves by China to change the status quo.

In short, the United States and Japan are aiming to update their military command and control systems in what President Joe Biden described as the most important enhancement to their alliance since its inception many years ago. During a news conference with Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, Biden stated that both countries were making substantial efforts to guarantee their armed forces can collaborate efficiently and smoothly.

In a statement jointly issued following the press briefing, the leaders announced that Biden had affirmed the inclusion of nuclear capabilities in the US-Japan mutual defense treaty, which also encompassed the Senkaku islands in the East China Sea, a territory administered by Japan but claimed by China.

Addressing the recent aggressive actions of China’s coastguard towards the Philippines at the Second Thomas Shoal in the Spratly Islands, a disputed reef, the leaders expressed strong opposition to any attempts to alter the current situation through force or coercion.

During the press conference, Kishida highlighted a pivotal moment in history and emphasized the leaders’ commitment to addressing challenges related to China, as well as defending and strengthening a free and open Indo-Pacific. Furthermore, Biden announced plans for the US, Japan, and Australia to establish an integrated air, missile, and defense system, marking the first time such a framework would be put in place. Additionally, he mentioned that the US and Japan were coordinating to conduct a trilateral military exercise involving the UK.