US, Japan Reveal Plans for Increased Cooperation

US, Japan Reveal Plans for Increased Cooperation

( – According to the US Department of State, relations between the United States and Japan are strong. America prides the Asian nation as one of the best examples of a democracy with a strong economy and hails the country as important to the stability of the region. Although the relationship suffered after the attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941, the two have enjoyed positive cooperation since 1960. Now, the nations are reportedly entering a new era of joint efforts to keep the far east secure.

The Agreement

On January 11, Japan and the United States responded to the recent actions of China and North Korea by announcing a plan to ensure Tokyo has enough long-range missiles to protect itself, safeguard Japanese satellites, and establish US Marine presence in Okinawa.

The missiles will be American Tomahawk cruise missiles, which could be used in a counter-strike situation against aggressive actions by nearby nations. The American military presence means the US will send up to 2,200 Marines and personnel by 2025, forming the US Marine Littoral Regiment, which will be housed on a small island about halfway between Japan and Taiwan. The crew will have access to anti-ship missiles for defense purposes. The Wall Street Journal reported Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin confirmed both countries are growing increasingly concerned about the stability in the region, so are taking steps to ensure calmness prevails. That said, he also mentioned the US could quickly defend Japan if needed, even if that defense included nuclear means.

The two powerful nations announced they will be forming an expanded coordination between their militaries and increasing exercises around Japan.

Recent Activities in Asia

Ever since Russia invaded Ukraine, there have been rumblings about whether or not China plans to follow in Moscow’s footsteps and try to reclaim Taiwan by force. In fact, President Joe Biden said in September 2022 that the US military would defend the sovereign nation if China were to take action against Taiwan. Although he said in an interview with 60 Minutes that would be with boots on the ground, the White House has maintained it’s not changing the US’s policy of “strategic ambiguity.” The reaction was in response to the increase in Chinese military exercises launched during the previous month, including warplanes conducting maneuvers right off the island’s coast.

That same month, August 2022, the WSJ reported China was firing missiles near the island of Japan — a move US Secretary of State Antony Blinken called a serious “escalation” — causing reactions from Tokyo. Japan committed to increasing its military spending to equal 2% of its gross domestic product by some time in 2027.

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