US Defense Secretary Austin Looks Forward to Deeper Cooperation with Japan

US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin (L) and Japanese Defense Minister Yasukazu Hamada (R) review the guard of honor at the Defense ministry in Tokyo, Japan, 01 June 2023. After Japan, Secretary of Defense Austin will travel to Singapore, India and France.

TOKYO (Reuters) – Japan’s Defense Minister Yasukazu Hamada on Thursday told U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin he wanted to deepen security cooperation with Washington and South Korea after North Korea’s failed rocket launch.

“We need to strengthen ties between Japan and the U.S. and also between Japan, the U.S. and ROK (Republic of Korea), as it possible that North Korea launches again,” Hamada told Austin at a meeting in Tokyo

Austin was in Japan on a stopover on his way to Singapore for the Shangri-La Dialogue Asian security summit. He will also visit India and France.

The failed North Korean launch of what it said was a military satellite on Thursday prompted emergency alerts in parts of Japan and South Korea, with residents warned to take cover.

Austin told Hamada he wanted to bolster cooperation between their alliance, South Korea and Australia, as they also face challenges posed by China and Russia.