The foreign and defense ministers of the United States and Japan met recently in Washington, D.C., for discussions aimed at strengthening the U.S.-Japan Alliance in the face of increasing security challenges from the People’s Republic of China, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, and Russia.
At a joint press briefing after the talks, Secretary of State Antony Blinken called the U.S.-Japan Alliance “the cornerstone of peace and stability in the Indo-Pacific.” He praised Japan’s new national security and defense strategies, which include a significant increase in security spending and investment in defense institutions and infrastructure. Secretary Blinken added, “These new strategies make clear Japan’s commitment…to take on new roles and foster even closer defense cooperation with the United States and our mutual partners.”
We’re committed to upholding shared values of democracy and human rights, defending the international rule of law, continuing to lead the world in tackling global challenges that no one country can solve alone,” he said.
U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin also underscored the “clear strategic alignment” between the United States and Japan and praised Japan’s decision to strengthen its own defense as a key contribution to the maintenance of regional peace and stability. He welcomed what he called “an historic alliance decision to optimize U.S. force posture in Japan by forward stationing more versatile, mobile, and resilient capabilities.”
“These actions will bolster deterrence in the region and allow us to defend Japan and its people more effectively,” he said.
In particular, Secretary Austin pointed to the reorganization of a U.S. Marine artillery regiment on Okinawa into the 12th Marine Littoral Regiment. "We will equip this new formation with advanced intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance, as well as anti-ship and transportation capabilities that are relevant to the current and future threat environments,” he explained.
“Our alliance is stronger than ever, building on a foundation of teamwork, trust and shared values that has underpinned our relationship for decades,” declared Secretary Austin. “And so there is no challenge that we cannot overcome if we continue to work shoulder to shoulder.”