US wants to increase military presence in Japan

Dhe USA and Japan want to strengthen their security cooperation in view of the threats from China and North Korea. “Today we welcomed a historic Alliance decision to optimize our military presence in Japan,” said the US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin in Washington at a press conference with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Japanese colleagues Yasukazu Hamada and Yoshimasa Hayashi. “These actions will strengthen deterrence in the region and enable us to more effectively defend Japan and its people,” Austin said.

Specifically, the American troop presence on the island of Okinawa is to be adjusted. In view of China’s growing thirst for power, a kind of rapid reaction force is to be set up there in the south Japan’s develop. In addition, the Marine Littoral Regiment will emerge within a few years as part of the realignment of the Marine Corps in Japan’s island prefecture, where the bulk of US troops are stationed in the country. “We are replacing an artillery regiment with a unit that is deadlier, more agile and more capable,” they said in a joint statement. Japan’s Prime Minister Fumio Kishida plans to meet US President Joe Biden at the White House on Friday to discuss further plans.

Austin also welcomed Japan’s new security strategy. Japan is currently undergoing a historic change of course in its security policy and intends to massively increase its defense spending. For the first time, the country wants to acquire offensive weapons such as cruise missiles that could potentially target in China reachable. The defense budget is to amount to two percent of the country’s economic output instead of the previous one percent.

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