Japan, U.S. Agree to Bolster Alliance, with N. Korea, China in Mind

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Defense Minister Minoru Kihara, right, shakes hands with John Aquilino, Commander of U.S. Indo-Pacific Command, at the Defense Ministry on Wednesday.

Japan and the United States agreed Wednesday to boost their joint deterrence and response capabilities in light of Japan’s deteriorating security environment due to China’s increasing maritime activities among other factors.

Defense Minister Minoru Kihara and John Aquilino, Commander of U.S. Indo-Pacific Command, stressed the importance of the Japan-U.S. entente at the Japanese Defense Ministry on the day.

Kihara emphasized Japan’s intention to strengthen its defense capabilities, saying the role of the Japan-U.S. Alliance is a key factor in maintaining the rule-based international order and a Free and Open Indo-Pacific.

For his part, Aquilino underlined his determination for the Japan-U.S. Alliance to serve as a basis of peace and prosperity.

Aquilino also met with Prime Minister Fumio Kishida at the Prime Minister’s Office, where they reconfirmed the close ties between Tokyo and Washington, with North Korea and China in mind.