(JustPatriots.com)- In response to their shared concerns about China, the United States and Japan announced increased security cooperation on Wednesday, and Washington firmly supported the significant military boost Tokyo announced earlier this month.
After he and Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin met with their Japanese counterparts in Washington, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken remarked, “We believe that the PRC is the largest common strategic issue that we and our friends and partners face.”
Austin revealed plans to establish a Marine Littoral Regiment in Japan at the same press conference, providing powerful capabilities, including anti-ship missiles.
Blinken added that the two parties had reached an understanding to expand the scope of their shared defense agreement to include space.
On Thursday, Austin will re-meet with Japanese Defense Minister Yasukazu Hamada at the Pentagon; on Friday, U.S. President Joe Biden will meet with Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida.
The number of American troops in Japan won’t change, but the new deployments may be the first of many this year about military forces in Asia that are intended to make Beijing pause before starting any hostilities.
The deal comes after nearly a year of negotiations and after Japan unveiled its most significant military buildup since World War Two last month. This marked a major break from the country’s seven decades of pacifism and was motivated by worries about Chinese activities in the region.
Under this five-year plan, Japan will quadruple its defense spending to 2% of its GDP and acquire missiles with a 1,000 km (600 mi) range that can hit ships or land-based targets.
When questioned about the Japanese changes, Blinken responded, “It’s really quite easy; we wholeheartedly welcome the new initiatives, particularly because there is a tremendous convergence between our approach and strategies and Japan’s.”
According to U.S. sources, a 2,000-strong Marine Corps unit concentrating on cutting-edge intelligence, surveillance, and transportation will convey the anti-ship missiles to Japan. By 2025, the relocation is anticipated to be finished.
Japan has asked neighboring regions of Japan to take some of the American military presence in Okinawa as a result of increased Chinese military activity near Taiwan.
The largest concentration of American Marines outside the United States is 18,000 in Japan. Most of them are housed on bases on the main Okinawan island, a part of a chain that reaches as close to Taiwan as 100 kilometers.