Japan and the United States will strengthen their military ties. The two countries announced this in a joint statement. With the cooperation, they say, they are addressing the threats from China and North Korea in the region. They call China’s role “the biggest security challenge”.
According to Japan and the US, China’s policy is aimed at turning international relations in its favor by, among other things, exerting great political, economic and military pressure. British Prime Minister Sunak also signed an agreement to strengthen military ties between Japan and the United Kingdom.
Tensions between China and Taiwan
In the region, there are particularly high tensions between China and Taiwan. The Chinese army regularly conducts exercises near the island state. The Chinese government sees Taiwan as a renegade province. The Taiwanese have a strong ally in the US.
Last August, top American politician Nancy Pelosi visited Taiwan, which was seen as a provocation by China. In Beijing’s eyes, any visit by a foreign administrator or politician is equivalent to recognition of Taiwan’s independence.
Earlier, US President Joe Biden announced that the US military would defend Taiwan in the event of a Chinese invasion.
The military cooperation includes a new naval unit on the Japanese island of Okinawa, not far from Taiwan. The Americans already have a large base there and will expand the existing army. The site is seen as a strategic location in the region, from which it is possible to react quickly.
Additional troops are also stationed on other islands south of Japan. Both countries will also practice multiple times.
Japan strengthens its military
Last year, Japan announced to significantly strengthen its own defense. It will be the largest reinforcement since World War II. Japan feels the threat from North Korea, which regularly fires missiles, and sees that China has expanded its navy and air force in the vicinity of Japan. According to Japan, Chinese naval vessels regularly sail in Japanese territorial waters.