Japan, U.S. to Pledge Greater ‘Strategic Cooperation’; Joint Statement Eyes Areas Including Security, Technology

REUTERS file photo

Japan and the United States will declare they are “Global partners for the future” and announce a policy to strengthen “strategic cooperation” in areas such as security and advanced technology in a joint statement to be released in conjunction with a summit meeting between Prime Minister Fumio Kishida and U.S. President Joe Biden in Washington on April 10, according to government sources.

Based on developments such as Japan’s revision of the National Security Strategy in December 2022 to allow the possession of counterattack capabilities, the joint statement states that “the U.S.-Japan Alliance has reached unprecedented heights” and they will set forth a “new era” of “strategic cooperation.”

Specifically, the two countries will strengthen their joint production structure for defense equipment, in response to Japan’s easing of restrictions on defense equipment exports. They are also expected to call for expanded cooperation in a wide range of areas, including space, artificial intelligence, economic security and decarbonization.

In the statement, the two leaders are likely to criticize China’s aggressive expansion into the East and South China Seas as “inconsistent with international law” and strongly oppose attempts to unilaterally change the status quo. They are expected to reaffirm that Article 5 of the Japan-U.S. Security Treaty, which stipulates the United States’ obligation to defend Japan, applies to the Senkaku Islands, and refer to the “importance of maintaining peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait.”

The two nations are also considering expressing “serious concern” over China’s buildup of nuclear capabilities without transparency. As for North Korea, Kishida and Biden will express condemnation regarding its ballistic missile development program and call on Pyongyang to return to diplomatic negotiations “without preconditions.” Biden is also expected to reaffirm the United States’ commitment to immediate resolution of the issue of North Korea’s abduction of Japanese citizens.