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The US and Japan strengthen their military alliance to counter China

The US and Japan strengthen their military alliance to counter China

With the intention of stopping the dizzying rise of China, the American president, Joe Bidenand the Japanese Prime Minister, Fumio Kishida, announced this Wednesday a series of measures that represent the largest remodeling of the military alliance between the two countries in 65 years and that include agreements on defense and technology.

The announcement came during a state visit with which Biden wanted to honor Kishida, who received the honors that Washington reserves for its closest allies: from a ceremony with military honors on the south lawn of the White House to a press conference. together, which will be followed tonight by a grand dinner.

This state visit by Kishida is the first by a Japanese leader in the last nine years.

One of the most important announcements was the restructuring of the US military command in Japan, which has seen a notable increase in its military spending during the Kishida government, and is now on its way to becoming the country with the third largest army in the world.

“This is the most significant improvement of our alliance since its establishment”Biden said during the press conference, guarded by Kishida.

This restructuring of the US military command in Japan represents the largest update of the security alliance between Tokyo and Washington since the mutual defense treaty came into force in 1960, and comes at a time when both countries seek to confront the rise from China.

US, Japanese and Australian air defense network

Biden also referred to the creation by the United States, Japan and Australia of a joint air defense network.

“For the first time, Japan, the United States and Australia will create a network of air and missile defense architecture”the American leader announced, without giving more details.

Just this week, the US-UK-Australia Defense Alliance (Aukus) announced that it was evaluating the possibility of Japan joining some naval military projects, thereby reinforcing the group’s efforts to counter pressure China’s military in Asia.

Neither Biden nor Kishida made any announcement in this regard, but they made it clear that they are looking forward to this new collaboration materializing.

The final decision on Aukus collaboration with Japan is in the hands of the defense ministers of the three countries. The group as such does not plan to include new members, but is open to specific collaborations.

Japan is already part of the Quad security alliance, which includes the United States, Australia and India.

Space exploration, artificial intelligence and microchips

Biden and Kishida. They also announced joint initiatives in cybersecurity, artificial intelligence, microchips and space exploration, including Japan’s contribution of a lunar rover developed by Toyota and the participation of Japanese astronauts in United States space missions.

The goal, Biden explained, is for a Japanese astronaut to reach the Moon, whose soil until now only Americans have set foot on.

All these announcements are included in the “global alliance” between the two countries and which, according to the White House, shows how Japan has gone from being a regional actor to a global actor, which is evident, for example, in its support for Ukraine and the increase in its defense spending, breaking with the position it had maintained since the Second World War.

Kishida, architect of this change in strategy, welcomed this theory and, during the press conference, argued that what is happening in Ukraine, can “tomorrow” occur in the Asia-Pacific area.

The Japanese leader considered that it is important to maintain a dialogue with China, but urged the Asian giant to “fulfill its responsibilities as one of the great powers” in the world.

Faced with the rise of China, the Biden Administration has strengthened its alliances in the Asia-Pacific and has promoted the improvement of ties between several countries, including Japan and South Korea, old enemies.

In that same spirit of creating regional coalitions, tomorrow, Thursday, Biden, Kishida and Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. will host a trilateral summit that will focus on territorial disputes in the South China Sea.

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Source: Gestion

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