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Saturday, January 22, 2022

US, Japan appreciate strong ties including 2 new defense deals

by Matthew Lee and Robert Burns

WASHINGTON (AP) – To deepen their defense cooperation, the United States and Japan will soon sign a new five-year deal to share the cost of the US military presence in Japan, Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Thursday. Said to

Speaking at the start of a virtual conference between the US and Japanese foreign and defense ministers, Blinken said Tokyo and Washington would also sign an agreement to cooperate more closely in the research and development of defense-related technologies, including hypersonic Methods of countering threats with weapons are also included. ,

The agreement on a new formula to share the cost of the US military presence in Japan ends a Trump-era dispute that was a significant bottleneck in US-Japan relations. Blinken said the new deal would enable greater investment in the preparedness of the two countries’ militaries and improve their ability to work together.

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, who fled his home virtually as he recovers from a COVID-19 infection, said the US-Japan alliance is increasingly important.

“We are meeting a free, stable and secure Indo-Pacific against the backdrop of rising tensions and the challenges we both seek – challenges posed by North Korea’s nuclear ambitions and the aggressive and aggressive behavior of the People’s Republic of China,” Austin said.

“We are grateful for the support that Japan continues to provide to US forces stationed there and for the extraordinary level of cooperation across the full spectrum of military capabilities,” he said.

Concerns about China’s growing military were manifested in the signing of a defense deal between Japan and Australia on Thursday, the first such deal Japan has signed with any country other than the United States.

Thursday’s talks could be complicated by a rise in coronavirus cases. Japan asked the US before talks began to close US military bases on its soil due to the spread of COVID-19.

The request was made by Japanese Foreign Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi in a one-on-one phone call to Blinken before joining Austin and Japanese Defense Minister Nobuo Kishi for the virtual conference. None of the four officers mentioned it directly in their introductory statements.

Speaking ahead of the four-way conference, Hayashi said Blinken had promised the US would do everything possible to ensure people’s health, but it was not immediately clear whether a base curfew would be imposed. The US military in Japan would not comment on the request, but said a team was carefully monitoring cases and trends.

The US military has vowed to take more stringent measures, including requiring all personnel, even those vaccinated, to wear masks on grounds until the third negative coronavirus test.

US forces have been criticized after a spike in coronavirus cases in areas where they are located in large numbers, including Okinawa and Iwakuni in southern Japan. According to the USFJ, COVID-19 cases among US forces in Japan now total 1,784, of which about a third are in Okinawa. There have been 529 cases in Iwakuni.

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Yet the government of Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida clearly sees an advantage for the US military presence and is expected to agree a new cost-sharing deal with the United States shortly before Christmas, which will be discussed in Tokyo. It is expected to be formally signed on Friday.

Former President Donald Trump had raided the cost of deploying US forces overseas and demanded that host countries, including Japan, be prepared to offer badly strained ties with allies in Asia and Europe, for their maintenance. Pay too much for

President Joe Biden’s administration has sought to address those disagreements and resolve a standoff with South Korea last April over the cost of keeping US troops there. The December 21 consensus with Japan on a new four-year “Special Measures Agreement” is another concrete outcome of that policy.

Under the terms of the hosting deal, which will run until 2026, Japan will spend about $1.82 billion annually to support the US military presence. The United States has about 55,000 troops in Japan, including a naval force, which makes it the largest forward-deployed American force in the world according to the GAO.

In addition to cementing those terms, the US and Japan will cooperate and explore ways to counter China’s growing assertiveness in the Indo-Pacific, as well as to get North Korea back on the negotiating table over its nuclear weapons program. Looking forward to increasing coordination.

The US and Japan are concerned about threats from North Korea, which on Wednesday fired a ballistic missile into the sea in its first weapons launch in nearly two months.

Answer that says the test of a “hypersonic missile” was widely seen as a sign that Pyongyang is not interested in re-engaging in denuclearization talks any time soon and will instead ramp up its weapons arsenal. will focus on promotion.

North Korea has refused to re-engage in preliminary discussions on the nuclear issue, despite repeated requests from the Biden administration. State Department spokesman Ned Price called on the North to refrain from further tests, which he called a violation of UN Security Council resolutions, and urged him to respond to proposals to restart talks.

Five UN Security Council countries – the United States, the United Kingdom, France, Ireland and Albania – asked the UN’s most powerful body to consult on Monday on North Korea’s launch of a hypersonic missile, UN diplomats said. Speaking on the condition of anonymity further, he said. of an announcement.

World Nation News Deskhttps://www.worldnationnews.com
World Nation News is a digital news portal website. Which provides important and latest breaking news updates to our audience in an effective and efficient ways, like world’s top stories, entertainment, sports, technology and much more news.
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