Japan, the US and Europe must act together against China, says Prime Minister Kishida

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If Russia’s use of force against Ukraine remains ‘undisputed’, it will happen elsewhere in the world, including Asia,” said the Japanese prime minister.

Japan, the United States and Europe must act in unison against China, Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said in Washington, DC, during a visit aimed at strengthening Tokyo’s alliance with the US in the face of growing challenges from Beijing.

China is the central challenge for both Japan and the US, as China’s view of the international order differs in some ways from Tokyo and Washington’s views that the allies “can never accept,” Kishida said.

“It is imperative that Japan, the United States and Europe be united in managing our respective relationship with China,” Japan’s prime minister said in a speech at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies on Friday.

Russia’s war against Ukraine marked the “complete end” of the post-Cold War world order and if Moscow’s use of force “remains unchallenged, it will happen elsewhere in the world, including in Asia,” he said.

“The international community is at a historic turning point. The free, open and stable international order that we are committed to maintaining is now in grave danger,” Kishida said.

“We will never allow attempts to unilaterally change the status quo by force and we will strengthen our deterrence.”

Kishida reiterated Japan’s concerns about China’s military activity near disputed islets in the East China Sea — known as the Senkaku Islands in Japanese and the Diaoyu Islands in Chinese — and about launching ballistic missiles by China last year that landed in waters near Japan.


At a previous meeting with Kishida at the White House, US President Joe Biden said the US remains strongly committed to its alliance with Japan and praised Tokyo’s “historic” defense build-up announced last month.

“Let me be crystal clear: The United States is fully, thoroughly and completely committed to the alliance and, more importantly, to the defense of Japan,” Biden said.

Japan last month announced its largest military buildup since World War II, in a dramatic departure from seven decades of pacifism fueled by concerns about Chinese actions in the region. The increase sees Japan increase its 2023 defense budget to a record 6.8 trillion yen ($55 billion), or a 20 percent increase in spending, reflecting regional security concerns, including threats from China and North Korea .

As part of that new defense policy, Japan is shopping around and wants to buy hundreds of Tomahawk cruise missiles, currently only in the US and UK arsenals. Japan will also develop a ‘counter-attack’ capability for the first time, meaning it can hit launch sites for missiles that threaten the country.

In talks this week between Japan’s foreign and defense ministers and their US counterparts, the two countries also agreed that attacks in space could invoke their mutual defense treaty amid rapid Chinese work on satellites. .

Japanese Foreign Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi and US Secretary of State Antony Blinken also signed an agreement on Friday to collaborate on space exploration.



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