| 27 May 2024, Monday |

Japan, U.S. agree to boost alliance amid tougher security environment

According to a Japanese government source, Japanese Foreign Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi and US Secretary of State Antony Blinken agreed on Saturday on the importance of fortifying their nations’ alliance in the face of a harder regional security environment.

Hayashi and Blinken met on the margins of a Group of Seven (G7) foreign ministers conference in Liverpool, England.

“The ministers agreed that, in view of the region’s increasingly harsh security environment, it is critical to strengthen the Japan-US alliance’s deterrence and reaction capabilities,” an official said at a press conference.

Faced with China’s military build-up and North Korea’s nuclear and missile programmes, Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said on Monday he plans to fundamentally strengthen Japan’s defense posture by looking into options including acquiring the capability to strike enemy bases.

Hayashi and Blinken did not discuss the diplomatic boycott of the Beijing Winter Olympics, the official said.

Earlier this week, Canada joined Australia, Britain and the United States in saying they would not send top officials to the Games, citing longstanding concerns over China’s human rights record, while Japan has yet to make its stance clear.

Japan’s Yomiuri Shimbun daily reported on Saturday, citing multiple sources with knowledge of the matter, that senior Japanese government officials will likely skip the Games, joining the United States and others in a diplomatic boycott.

  • Reuters