January 15, 2024
WASHINGTON — Foreign Minister Yoko Kamikawa met with U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken in Washington on Friday afternoon and agreed that Japan and the United States will strengthen their deterrence and response capabilities in the Japan-U.S. alliance.
In the about one-hour talks, they also agreed that the two countries will work closely with each other toward an official visit by Prime Minister Fumio Kishida to the United States scheduled for early this year.
At the start of the meeting, Kamikawa said, “As the world reaches a turning point in history, the U.S.-Japan alliance plays a significant role.”
Blinken also stated, “Our alliance … is truly the cornerstone of peace, security and prosperity in the Indo-Pacific.”
In the talks, the foreign ministers agreed that the two countries will closely work to address issues regarding China and North Korea. They also reiterated their shared view on the importance of peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait and encouraged peaceful resolution of the China-Taiwan issue.
Regarding the U.S. and British strike on military strongholds of antigovernment Houthi forces in Yemen, Kamikawa said that Japan supports the U.S. determination to fulfill its responsibility to ensure freedom of navigation.
Kamikawa and Blinken agreed that the two nations will continue diplomatic efforts to prevent the fighting between Israel and the Islamist group Hamas from spreading to other areas in the Middle East.
Kamikawa explained to Blinken about her visit to Ukraine on Jan. 7, and they reiterated that they would make efforts to continue their strong support for Ukraine and sanctions against Russia.