Biden, Kishida tout more muscular Japanese military role
14 January, 2023
President Joe Biden and his Japanese counterpart Fumio Kishida touted Tokyo's beefed-up military posture during White House talks Friday (Jan 13) as part of a deepening alliance to maintain stability in the increasingly tense Asia-Pacific.
Hosting Kishida in the Oval Office, Biden said the countries' "shared democratic values are the source of our strength, the source of our alliance".
He said they would be discussing "modernising our military alliance" and welcomed "Japan's historic increase in defense spending and new national security strategy"."Let me be crystal clear: the United States is fully, thoroughly, completely committed to the alliance and more importantly to Japan's defense," Biden said. In December, Japan shook up its defense strategy with a pledge to increase spending to two per cent of GDP by 2027, adding more muscular capabilities in the face of a rising China and unpredictable, nuclear-armed North Korea.
"Japan and the United States are currently facing the most challenging and complex security environment in recent history," Kishida told Biden.
The new Japanese defense posture will "ensure peace and prosperity in the region", he said.
"Japan decided upon fundamentally reinforcing our defense capabilities, including possessing counterstrike capabilities," he said.
Following the meeting, both countries reiterated the importance of peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait and warned against any use of a nuclear weapon by Russia in Ukraine.
A joint statement issued by the White House also cited "provocations" by North Korea.
"We strongly oppose any unilateral attempts to change the status quo by force or coercion, anywhere in the world," the statement said.