US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said China’s “provocative actions” in the conflicting South China Sea and Taiwan Strait will strengthen defense cooperation between Japan and the United States under two new agreements.
Prime Minister Blinken at the opening ceremony of a virtual conference between the two foreign ministers and defense ministers, a new five-year agreement on the presence of the U.S. military in Japan to help allies “deepen military readiness and interoperability.” Said to sign.
Under the terms of a hosting agreement that will last until 2026, Japan will spend approximately $ 1.82 billion annually to cover its share of maintaining approximately 55,000 US troops in Japan.
According to Blinken, the two allies will also sign new R & D agreements to work together on new defense-related issues, such as how to counter hypersonic threats and improve space-based capabilities. ..
Blinken emphasized that the Japan-US alliance “needs not only to strengthen the tools we have, but also to develop new ones,” with China’s growing aggressiveness in conflict seas and the Ukrainian border. Cited the strengthening of Russia’s military power.
“China and Russia continue to violate international norms such as land, sea, space and cyberspace. Beijing’s provocative actions continue to increase tensions throughout the Taiwan Strait, as well as in the East and South China Seas. “.
Blinken must also strengthen US-Japan defense cooperation in the light of North Korea’s illegal nuclear and missile programs, citing North Korea’s recent eastern missile launches landing outside Japan’s exclusive economic zone. He said he had to.
Japan’s Foreign Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi said in a virtual conference that the international community “is facing multifaceted challenges such as unilateral and coercive attempts to change the status quo, unjustified abuse of pressure, and expansion of the authoritarian regime.” rice field. [sic].. “
This announcement was made after Japan signed a mutual access agreement with Australia. It aims to “support larger and more complex actual involvement” between the defense forces of both countries.
Australia’s Prime Minister Scott Morrison also said that the Japan-Australia Treaty is also the quad’s “extended agenda”, an informal strategic security dialogue between the United States, Australia, India and Japan that promotes the free Indo-Pacific region. He said he would contribute.
Japan’s Defense Minister Nobuo Kishi told China’s Prime Minister Wei Fenghe in a video conference last month that Japan was opposed to a one-sided attempt to change the status quo of the East China Sea by coercion.
Mr. Kishi expressed concern about the situation in the East China Sea, especially in the Senkaku Islands. In the Senkaku Islands, China’s ruling Communist Party has repeatedly invaded.Minister Prompted China “controls”.
Wei said that China would “firmly protect territorial sovereignty and maritime rights and interests” in the Senkaku Islands, which China calls Diaoyu Islands, and emphasized the need for joint efforts by the two countries to maintain peace and stability in the East China Sea. China Sea.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.