In pursuit of strengthening their defense cooperation, Japan and the United States are likely to sign a fresh five-year agreement obligating both parties to share costs of the American military presence in Japan, as cited by the Secretary of State, Antony Blinken.
Commencing the virtual conference between the foreign and defense ministers of the US and Japan, Blinken announced the Washington and Tokyo’s forthcoming deal, which will allow the countries to work closely in research and development of technologies advancing their defense capabilities.
Along with this, the two nations will also focus on developing effective means to combat threats originated from hypersonic weapons.
The new plan developed to counter cost sharing of the American military presence in Japan puts an end to a longstanding dispute during the Trump-era.
According to Blinken, the fresh agreement will facilitate greater investments targeted to brace forces of both the countries and will further allow them to operate together more efficiently.
Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, who actively participated in the virtual conference underpinned the significance of the US-Japan alliance, reminding of the increasing tensions and challenges faced by the free, stable and secure Indo-Pacific region.
Austin, cited the aggressive nuclear ambitions of North Korea, posing critical challenges along with the bold, repressive and intimidating behavior of the People’s Republic of China.
He also mentioned that Japan has offered consistent support to the US forces deployed in the country with exceptional mutual cooperation provided across a wide spectrum of military capabilities.
In addition, increasing political tensions and China’s advancing military power has encouraged other cross-border agreements including the one between Japan and Australia, that was announced on Thursday.
However, speculations have it that alliances formed might fall into complications with surging coronavirus cases. Previously, Japan urged the US to temporarily conceal American military bases on its soil owing to the fast-spreading variant of COVID-19.
In response, the US military has promised to deploy stringent measures such as compulsory masks for all personnel including the fully vaccinated individuals until a third negative test.