January 18, 2022

The World Live Breaking News Coverage & Updates IN ENGLISH

The World Live Breaking News Coverage & Updates IN ENGLISH

Japan, U.S. concerned over China bid to undermine rules-based order

3 min read
, Japan, U.S. concerned over China bid to undermine rules-based order, The World Live Breaking News Coverage & Updates IN ENGLISH
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, Japan, U.S. concerned over China bid to undermine rules-based order, The World Live Breaking News Coverage & Updates IN ENGLISH
, Japan, U.S. concerned over China bid to undermine rules-based order, The World Live Breaking News Coverage & Updates IN ENGLISH
, Japan, U.S. concerned over China bid to undermine rules-based order, The World Live Breaking News Coverage & Updates IN ENGLISH

Japanese and U.S. foreign and defense chiefs on Friday shared their concerns about China’s attempts to “undermine the rule-based order” and challenges they pose to the region and world, vowing to cooperate in deterring and responding to “destabilizing activities.”

In a joint statement issued after their virtual “two-plus-two” talks, the ministers highlighted the “importance of peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait,” while opposing any unilateral actions threatening Japan’s administration of the Senkaku Islands in the East China Sea, controlled by Japan but claimed by China.

Foreign Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi, Defense Minister Nobuo Kishi, and their U.S. counterparts Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, also aired “serious and ongoing concerns” about human rights issues in China’s Xinjiang autonomous region and Hong Kong.

Hayashi said at the outset of the talks that Japan is “fully committed” to constantly enhancing the alliance toward realizing “a free and open Indo-Pacific,” and noted that “it is more important than ever that Japan and the United States are united and exhibit leadership” in the face of a range of challenges.

Blinken reaffirmed the alliance as a cornerstone of peace and security in the region, and said the two countries must not only strengthen the tools they have, but also develop “new ones” to address the evolving threats posed by countries seeking to undermine the international rules-based order, including China and North Korea.

He also said that the United States and Japan are launching a new research and development agreement that will make it easier for their scientists and engineers to collaborate on emerging defense-related issues, from countering hypersonic threats to advancing space-based capabilities.

The teleconference came as concerns have been increasing over an escalation of Beijing’s maritime assertiveness in the East and South China seas and stepped-up military pressure on Taiwan, as well as the missile and nuclear threats posed by North Korea, which fired what it claimed was a newly developed hypersonic missile on Wednesday.

The Japan-U.S. two-plus-two meeting, last held in person in Tokyo in March, is the first since Prime Minister Fumio Kishida became Japan’s leader in early October and Hayashi took up his post in early November.

Newly appointed U.S. Ambassador to Japan Rahm Emanuel, a former White House chief of staff who was approved as envoy by the Senate last month, also participated in the meeting, according to Blinken.

The ministers talked about role-sharing between the U.S. military and Japan’s Self-Defense Forces, as Tokyo considers all options, including a controversial plan to acquire so-called enemy base strike capabilities despite its war-renouncing Constitution, ahead of a review of its long-term guideline the National Security Strategy by the year-end.

After the security talks, Hayashi and U.S. interim ambassador to Japan Raymond Greene signed an agreement in Tokyo on host-nation support for U.S. forces stationed in Japan, under which Tokyo will pay ¥1.05 trillion ($9 billion) over five years from April.

The four ministers were initially planning to meet face-to-face in Washington, but the rapid spread of the omicron variant in the United States forced them to switch to a virtual format, the Japanese officials said.

In addition, Austin was found to have contracted the coronavirus on Sunday and has been working from home with mild symptoms.

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