Security cooperation, China to dominate Biden talks with Japan’s Kishida

Greater security cooperation between the United States and Japan is expected to be the focus of the first substantive talks between their leaders since Fumio Kishida became Japanese prime minister last year, amid growing concern over the power of China and the missile projects of North Korea.

The online meeting between US President Joe Biden and Kishida, scheduled for Friday Washington time, will build on this month’s “two plus two” talks in which their defense and foreign ministers met. committed to working together against destabilization efforts in the Asian region. Growing concern over China’s growing role in the Indo-Pacific and growing tension over Taiwan have put more emphasis on Japan’s role in security, while North Korea has escalated tension with an unusually rapid series of missile tests.

Pyongyang, which fired tactically-guided missiles this week in its latest round of tests, warned on Thursday it may reconsider a moratorium on nuclear and missile tests. The recent two plus two meeting showed the two leaders were on the same page regarding their countries’ key challenges and pressing priorities in the region, said Daniel Russel, an analyst at the Asia Society Policy Institute.

“We should expect their discussion to focus on practical steps to deter and defend against destabilizing behavior, whether from North Korea or in hotspots like the Taiwan Strait and the South China Seas. and Eastern,” added Russel, who was America’s top diplomat for Asia. under President Barack Obama. China has stepped up military and diplomatic pressure to assert its sovereignty over democratic Taiwan, an island it claims as “sacred” territory.

The allies’ message on China becomes all the more important as the two leaders face crucial elections this year, in the upper house of parliament in July for Kishida and midterm in November for Biden. “As the election approaches, I think Kishida will be called upon to show a strong stance against China, and the United States is in the same position on this,” said Airo Hino, professor of political science at the Institute. Waseda University in Tokyo.

Both nations are reviewing their security strategy, details of which are expected to be released later this year. Japan has approved record defense spending for 2022. Japan will not only look at strategy, but all of its defense programs, including procurement programs, its ambassador to the United States, Koji Tomita, said on Tuesday. , during an event at the Brookings Institution.

“The new review will put a lot more focus on what’s happening in the Asia-Pacific region. And I think the picture we have in that region is increasingly troubling.” Japan will strengthen its defenses of islands near Taiwan, Kishida said this week, following an October promise to revise its security strategy to consider “all options, including possessing so-called strike capabilities enemy”.

Kishida is also likely to want to lay the groundwork for a relationship with Biden so the two can meet in person as soon as possible. “Prime Minister Kishida must win the Upper House elections,” Tadashi Maeda, governor of the Japan Bank for International Cooperation, said in an online seminar this week.

“Except (for) meeting President Biden, his foreign policy will not move as fast and he will focus more on internal and domestic issues.” (Writing by Elaine Lies; Editing by David Dolan and Clarence Fernandez)

(This story has not been edited by the Devdiscourse team and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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