January 9, 2023
TOKYO – Japan and the United States are arranging to release a joint document focusing on bilateral security cooperation after the summit meeting between Prime Minister Fumio Kishida and U.S. President Joe Biden to be held in Washington on Friday, it has been learned.
The document is expected to include the further deepening of the Japan-U.S. alliance and the strengthening of cooperation to promote a “free and open Indo-Pacific” initiative, based on the revision in December of Japan’s three key national security and defense documents, including the National Security Strategy, according to several Japanese government officials.
Kishida pledged to Biden that Japan would greatly strengthen its defense capabilities and increase defense spending during their talks in Tokyo in May last year. The upcoming meeting will be an opportunity for the prime minister to explain the efforts Japan has made since then.
The envisaged joint document is intended to promote the strong Japan-U.S. alliance by outlining the deepening of bilateral security cooperation, based on the fact that the revised National Security Strategy has added Japan’s possession of “counterattack capabilities” to destroy enemy missile launch sites and other facilities for the purpose of self-defense.
In the document, Tokyo and Washington are expected to reaffirm that the Senkakus are covered by Article 5 of the Japan-U.S. Security Treaty, which stipulates the obligation of the United States to defend Japan. It will likewise stress the importance of “peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait.”
Japan and the United States’ close cooperation toward the complete denuclearization of North Korea is also expected to be noted in the paper.
In addition to working together regarding key economic and security technologies and the space sector, the promotion of cooperation over economic and trade-related matters will likely be specified in the document.
Prior to his visit to the United States, Kishida will travel to France, Italy, the U.K. and Canada for talks with the leaders of these countries. Among other things, he will call for cooperation at the Group of Seven summit scheduled to be held in Hiroshima in May.