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Visit to the White House | Biden and Kishida hail strengthened U.S.-Japan alliance

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(Washington) President Joe Biden and Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida on Friday hailed the strength of their alliance and the increased role Tokyo intends to play in safeguarding stability in the Asia-Pacific region and around the world.

“I want to be very clear: the United States is fully, resolutely and totally committed to this alliance and more importantly to the defense of Japan,” Biden said in the Oval Office, also welcoming the “historic rise of Tokyo’s military budget and its new security strategy.

“You are a true leader and a true friend,” he added alongside Mr. Kishida.

The Japanese Prime Minister for his part put forward this new defense doctrine adopted by his government in December and which provides for a massive increase in the defense budget and new military capabilities.

This should “benefit our deterrence and response capabilities”, he said, a message to Beijing’s increasingly assertive behavior in the region and to Pyongyang and its ballistic missile development program.

In a speech shortly after to students at Johns Hopkins University, the Japanese leader spoke of a historic turning point for his country and warned that if left unchecked, the Russian invasion of Ukraine could embolden other countries.

“Russia’s aggression against Ukraine marks the total end of the post-Cold War world,” he said.

“If we allow this unilateral change of the status quo by force, it will happen elsewhere in the world including in Asia,” he added in a thinly veiled allusion to Taiwan amid fears of an invasion. Chinese.

Japan has joined Western powers in imposing sanctions on Moscow since its invasion of Ukraine in February 2022.

Counter attack

Space defense, additional deployment of Marines planned in Okinawa, military agreement with London: Japan is displaying new ambitions in the face of China, which Tokyo now considers as posing an “unprecedented strategic challenge” to its security.

Tokyo unveiled in December an overhaul of the country’s defense doctrine, providing for a near doubling of military spending to bring it to 2% of national GDP by 2027.

Japan also intends to acquire a “counter-attack capability” by acquiring longer-range missiles, including Tomahawk missiles, a major change for this country whose pacifist Constitution adopted after the Second World War forbids entering into war.

Meeting in Washington on Wednesday, US and Japanese foreign and defense chiefs agreed to explicitly extend the Japan-US space security treaty. They also announced the deployment by 2025 of a Marine Corps quick reaction force in Okinawa, the closest Japanese department to Taiwan and mainland China.

It was the first visit to Washington by the Japanese prime minister, whose country took over the annual presidency of the G7 earlier this year.


PHOTO MANDEL NGAN, AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

Fumio Kishida and Joe Biden on their way to the Oval Office

Mr. Kishida thus completes an intense tour of Europe and North America in the United States, which will also have taken him to France, Italy, the United Kingdom and Canada.

The United States and Japan were to sign a framework agreement in the field of space exploration later Friday at NASA headquarters.



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