“We agree that China poses the greatest strategic challenge” to the two countries, US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken said during a joint press conference with his Japanese counterpart and the defense ministers of the two countries.
The four ministers met two days before a US-Japanese summit to be held in Washington, Friday, between President Joe Biden and Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, who is currently on a European-North American tour.
And Blinken stressed during the press conference that the United States “warmly welcomes” the new defense strategy recently adopted by Japan, and made it clear that the two countries agreed that the mutual defense treaty concluded between them also includes attacks that take place through space, in a step that comes in the midst of the increase in Chinese capabilities via satellites. industrial.
He added that this agreement means that any attack through space against any of the two countries would activate Article 5 of the bilateral defense treaty, which states that any attack on either country is also an attack on the other country.
For his part, US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin said that his country will deploy a rapid reaction unit from the US Marine Corps to the island of Okinawa in southern Japan to enhance the defense capabilities of its ally in the face of the growing Chinese threats.
“By 2025, we will replace an artillery battalion with this force that will be deadlier and more mobile,” Austin said, in “an increasingly difficult security environment.”
The Pentagon master stressed that this unit “will make a significant contribution to strengthening Japan’s defense and ensuring a free and open Indo-Pacific.”
There are currently about 50,000 American soldiers in Japan, more than half of whom are stationed on the island of Okinawa.
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