In April, Yoshimasa Hayashi became the first Japanese foreign minister to attend a NATO ministerial when he traveled to Brussels. The United States should explore opportunities for Japan and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to further expand high-level diplomatic interactions and information sharing.

Washington will reaffirm that if Japan is threatened with nuclear weapons, it is willing to defend Japan not only with conventional forces but also with nuclear weapons if necessary. This will be included in the joint statement.

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Kyodo News Agency
May 17, 2022

Japan, U.S. leaders to affirm alliance over Taiwan amid Ukraine war

Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida and U.S. President Joe Biden are set to affirm in a joint statement that they will strengthen cooperation toward stability in the Taiwan Strait when they meet next week in Tokyo, Japanese government sources said Tuesday.

The premier is also expected to announce Japan’s participation in the U.S.-led Indo-Pacific Economic Framework as he will hold summit talks with Biden on Monday, deeming the vision reflects the U.S. intent to increase its involvement in the region, the sources said.

By sending the message on Taiwan from Japan, the two countries are seeking to keep China’s growing assertiveness in the region in check while Russia’s war in Ukraine has raised concerns that the situation in Ukraine today could be that in East Asia tomorrow, the sources said.

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Through the summit, Kishida also aims to further strengthen the Japan-U.S. alliance based on the understanding that China, in the long-run, would replace Russia as a security challenge, according to the sources.

…Foreign Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi said at a regular news conference Tuesday that…Japan maintains it is desirable for the United States to return to a major Pacific free-trade deal known as the Trans-Pacific Partnership….

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The United States once led TPP negotiations but withdrew from the pact in 2017 under then President Donald Trump….

In what would be Kishida’s first in-person, sit-down bilateral summit with Biden, the two will emphasize freedom, democracy and the rule of law, and stress that they will work with other countries sharing such universal values in facing China and Russia, the sources said.

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In the upcoming summit, the two sides will once again affirm the importance of peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait, while Kishida seeks to share with Biden a concern that what is happening in Ukraine could occur in East Asia as well. Such worries are expected to be reflected in their joint statement as well.

The two countries will also align in continuing sanctions against Russia for its aggression in Ukraine, while agreeing on close communication between the Group of Seven nations to respond to rising energy and food prices brought about by the war.

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Nikkei Asia
May 17, 2022

U.S., Japan weigh pledge to jointly deter China at Tokyo summit

The Japanese and U.S. governments have begun coordinating on the wording of a joint statement to be released during their summit meeting on Monday in Tokyo….The statement will clearly state a policy of cooperation to “deter and respond to” China’s activities in the Indo-Pacific region.

The statement will also outline a policy of keeping Japan under the U.S. nuclear umbrella, and the sharing of security strategies between the two countries….

This will be the first face-to-face meeting between Japan’s Prime Minister Fumio Kishida and U.S. President Joe Biden. The two leaders’ expected reference to deterring China’s hegemonic behavior reflects their concern that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has implications for Asia.

The U.S. is deepening its military commitment to Europe to deal with Russia, and, for the time being, the U.S. will be forced to conduct a three-front strategy – in Europe, the Middle East and East Asia….

The previous joint statement published last year and delivered by then-Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga and Biden, spoke of the importance of peace and stability in the “Taiwan Strait” for the first time in almost half a century. It also included the phrase “the importance of deterrence” in the region.

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The two countries will maintain economic sanctions against Russia…and will condemn threats to use nuclear weapons. The statement will also again call for the complete denuclearization of North Korea.

The U.S. will clarify its stance on protecting Japan under the nuclear umbrella. The U.S. has been unable to dissuade Russia, which possesses nuclear weapons, from invading Ukraine, and concerns about the effectiveness of nuclear deterrence are spreading. Washington will reaffirm that if Japan is threatened with nuclear weapons, it is willing to defend Japan not only with conventional forces but also with nuclear weapons if necessary. This will be included in the joint statement.

…They will pledge to strengthen cooperation between the Japan Self-Defense Forces and the U.S. military in areas such as troop operations, joint use of bases, and procurement of equipment, as they prepare for a possible emergency in Taiwan.

Prime Minister Kishida will also discuss with Biden the Japanese government’s intended increase in defense spending, which had previously been limited to about 1% of gross domestic product, and its moves to develop a “strike capability against enemy bases.” That is, the ability to hit missile launch sites and other targets.

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Kyodo News Agency
May 17, 2022

Opinion: U.S., Japan must boost deterrence as China learns lessons from Russia
By Bill Hagerty, Ben Cardin and John Cornyn

(Bill Hagerty is a U.S. Republican senator from Tennessee and former U.S. ambassador to Japan. Ben Cardin is a U.S. Democrat senator from Maryland and John Cornyn is a U.S. Republican senator from Texas.)

We recently led the first congressional delegation to Japan since the pandemic began and met with Prime Minister Fumio Kishida and top officials, former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and other influential parliamentarians, and titans of Japanese industry.

We see opportunities for President Biden to advance U.S. interests when he travels to Tokyo later this month for bilateral meetings with the Kishida government and multilateral meetings with our Quad partners of Japan, India and Australia.

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After Russia’s unprovoked and unjustified invasion of Ukraine, Tokyo joined in imposing strong multilateral sanctions against Vladimir Putin’s war machine….

In April, Yoshimasa Hayashi became the first Japanese foreign minister to attend a NATO ministerial when he traveled to Brussels. The United States should explore opportunities for Japan and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to further expand high-level diplomatic interactions and information sharing.

Second, we must further increase planning coordination as Japan looks to significantly boost defense.

Japan is revising its national security and national defense strategies. At the same time, Tokyo sees growing support from the Japanese people to increase defense spending to 2 percent of gross domestic product.

Washington should encourage Tokyo to use increased spending to field – as rapidly as possible – new defense capabilities that are mobile, lethal and interoperable. Japan must also significantly improve intelligence, information sharing and cybersecurity capabilities, and expand joint training exercises with American and partner forces.

Our nations must urgently act to strengthen defense and deterrence because China, with its eye on Taiwan, is surely learning lessons from Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Third, we must elevate engagement with Japan and the Quad on energy security.

After Putin’s invasion of Ukraine, Japan joined other nations in re-evaluating the use of Russian energy sources…..

The United States and Japan – as the world’s largest and third-largest economies – will benefit from candid conversations on energy security. The Quad, too, must engage on this critical topic given India is the world’s biggest democracy and has an opportunity to decrease its energy and military reliance on Russia, and Australia is a significant energy exporter.

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