Japan, US agree to step up deterrence

Top diplomats from Japan and the United States have shared their opposition to China’s unilateral attempts to change the status quo in the East China Sea. They agreed on the need to strengthen the deterrence capabilities of the Japanese-American alliance.

Japanese Foreign Minister Hayashi Yoshimasa and US Secretary of State Antony Blinken held 25 minutes on Saturday on the sidelines of a two-day meeting of Group of Seven foreign ministers in England.

At the start of the meeting, they expressed their joy at meeting in person for the first time in the city of Liverpool, which is deeply linked to the Beatles. Both played in music groups.

Hayashi and Blinken exchanged views on China, North Korea and other regional issues.

In light of the increasingly severe regional security environment, they agreed that their countries would continue to work closely together to strengthen their alliance’s deterrence and response capacities.

Hayashi and Blinken also agreed on the need to ensure peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait and agreed to cooperate to achieve a free and open Indo-Pacific region.

They also agreed to speed up schedule adjustments to allow for a quick visit to the United States by Japanese Prime Minister Kishida Fumio, as well as to hold a so-called “two plus two” meeting of foreign and defense ministers.

Officials say Hayashi and Blinken did not discuss the diplomatic boycott of the Beijing Winter Olympics.