The Japanese Prime Minister was in London and reached a policy agreement with Boris Johnson on a new bilateral security agreement. In the United States, Japan’s defense minister and his deputy minister have agreed to strengthen military cooperation. The Pentagon offers ‘full range’ of US nuclear and conventional defense capabilities
The Russian invasion of Ukraine opens a new chapter in challenging the international order under the terms and conditions of the United Nations Charter, and China is emerging as an economic and military power with an aggressive approach compared to its neighbors. Has done everything to strengthen defense and security agreements with its Western allies. This Thursday, Prime Minister Fumio Kishida was in London and reached a policy agreement with Boris Johnson for a new security agreement between the two countries. Almost simultaneously, the Japanese defense minister was at the Pentagon to strengthen US military cooperation.
In London, Kishida and Johnson outlined what would become of a new security cooperation agreement between London and Tokyo. In principle, the agreement aims to guarantee a “free and open Indo-Pacific” in contrast to China’s expanding ambitions in the Pacific Ocean and Russia’s growing war tone towards Japan.
The aim of London and Tokyo is to sign a Mutual Access Agreement (RAA), which, if signed, will allow troops to be sent quickly from both countries if military support is needed. A RAA, with an acquisition and cross-service agreement that would allow countries to share arms and goods, would be a major leap in security cooperation between the two capitals. The future agreement will allow both countries’ forces to participate in joint training and disaster relief operations.
In January, Japan signed a similar RAA agreement with Australia, which was presented as a historic agreement, the only such defense and defense agreement in Tokyo, with Japan’s main military partner since its defeat in the United States. World War II.
Following the agreement with Australia, Kishida wants to sign a similar agreement with the UK, bringing Japan closer to the AUKUS countries, with the signing of a new tripartite defense agreement between the US, Australia and the UK in September 2021.
“Ukraine could be East Asia tomorrow”
The Japanese head of state was in London at the end of a week-long diplomatic tour that took him to Indonesia, Vietnam, Thailand, Italy and the United Kingdom. Kishida, who met Boris Johnson, thanked Britain for its growing involvement in the Indo-Pacific region. According to the Kyoto News Agency, the two leaders expressed “strong concern” about the unilateral efforts to change the situation in the South China Sea and the East China Sea and the “rapid but non-transparent” development of military operations there. Global – Indication of China’s emergence as a major military power in the region, with its recent cooperation and defense agreement with Solomon, its strong naval presence and expansion of its sphere of influence into the South Pacific. Islands.
Attempts at “economic coercion” were condemned by Kishida and Johnson, in another implicit reference to the pressure tool used extensively by Beijing.
“Ukraine could be East Asia tomorrow,” Kishida told a news conference in London after meeting Johnson. Words that echo the fear that Beijing will use the lessons of the Russian invasion to invade the democratic island of Taiwan in the future.
“Russia’s aggression is not just an issue for Europe. The international order, which includes the Indo – Pacific region, is in danger,” Kishida reiterated.
The Pentagon promises a ‘full range’ of nuclear and conventional defense capabilities
With Kishida’s trip to Europe, his defense minister, Nobuo Kishi, traveled to the United States, where he met with his rival, Lloyd Austin. The defense officials of the two countries agreed to streamline their security strategies and strengthen military cooperation in order to prevent any attempt to forcibly change the situation in the Indo-Pacific region.
According to Japan’s Ministry of Defense, Kyoto News quoted Kishi as saying that Japan’s “strong commitment” would significantly strengthen its defense capabilities. Austin welcomed the commitment and reaffirmed the United States’ commitment to Japan’s security. During the Pentagon meeting, the head of the Pentagon assured that this involvement would include expanded defense capabilities supported by the “full range” of US nuclear and conventional defense capabilities.
Moment of Japan’s security change
The deepening of cooperation between Tokyo and its key Western allies on security and security issues comes at a crucial moment for the future of Japan’s security policies.
The country faces three threats from countries in the region: China’s growing commitment as an economic and military power; Return of North Korean military threat; Decline in relations with Russia after the invasion of Ukraine.
The fact that growing tensions with China have been occurring in recent years and North Korea’s permanent threat has long been part of the region’s territory, but Russia’s hostile opposition to the reconciliation process between Tokyo and Moscow over the past two years. Decades. Both China and Russia have had regional disputes with Japan since World War II, which have never been resolved, and in recent times have justified more aggressive positions in the statements of their respective foreign ministers.
Japan plans to renew its national security strategy this year, and Russia’s war against Ukraine has led to a change in Tokyo’s view of the neighboring country – “in the future national security strategy will be described as” a defense of Moscow “, and no longer as a security partner, as classified from the document currently in force.
The war in Eastern Europe, the return of North Korea’s ballistic missile tests – one of which struck Japan’s exclusive economic zone in April – and the continued infiltration of Chinese warships off the coast of Japan gave new impetus to Tokyo. Strengthened its defense and prevention capabilities.
Prime Minister Kishida’s Liberal Democrats recently proposed a significant increase in defense spending – equivalent to more than 1% of current GDP – and improving the ability to strike missile launches into enemy territory. However, this possibility is presented as a form of protection against external threats.
If this change happens, it will be a revolution in the entire history of Japan after World War II. The country has a constitution with a peaceful regime that prohibits the use of war as a means of resolving conflict. The Japanese armed forces are called defensive forces because the basic law explicitly prohibits the possibility of military strikes in the country. However, given the current concern for the country’s security, there are those in the majority party who agree with the constitutional amendment that would mitigate the complete abandonment of the war.
Can Taiwan be the next Ukraine?
At the Pentagon, the Japanese defense minister described Russia’s attack on its neighbor as a “serious challenge to international order” and said it was “worrying that such a unilateral move in the Indo-Pacific region could be forcibly reversed.” The U.S. Secretary of Defense acknowledged that Russia’s occupation has “beyond European” implications because it poses a challenge to rule-based order.
Austin said China’s behavior threatens to undermine “the general rules, values and institutions that support this order.”
Russia’s invasion of Tokyo has raised concerns about whether Taiwan could be “the next Ukraine” if China decides to reunite with the island, which has been an autonomous democracy since 1949. Japan’s ally with the United States, its geographical proximity to Taiwan, and the regional dispute over the Senkaku Islands south of the Japanese archipelago pose serious security challenges for Japan.
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