Washington, Jan 13 (EFE).- President Joe Biden said the United States is fully committed to Japan’s security during a meeting here Friday with Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, whose nation has responded to a perceived Chinese threat with plans to significantly boost its military spending and capabilities.
“We’re modernizing our military alliance, building on Japan’s historic increase in defense spending and new National Security Strategy,” Biden said at the start of their meeting at the White House’s Oval Office. “Let me be crystal clear: The United States is fully, thoroughly, completely committed to the alliance and, more importantly, to Japan’s defense.”
He added that the strength of their bilateral relationship was underpinned by their “shared democratic values.”
Biden also said the two countries would look to further advance their shared goals at gatherings such as the G7 summit in Hiroshima, Japan, in May and the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in San Francisco in November.
Kishida said for his part before the meeting that Japan and the US “are currently facing the most challenging and complex security environment in recent history.”
In response, the Asian country has decided to bolster its defensive capabilities to dissuade foreign rivals from eventual attacks, he said in a veiled reference to China and North Korea.
Japan’s prime minister also thanked the US for its cooperation and, like Biden, touted the importance of shared values, including “democracy and the rule of law.”
Under Japan’s recently updated National Security Strategy, its military is now authorized to carry out strikes on enemy bases in the event of a perceived threat to national security.
The new NSS also paves the way for a record increase in military spending.
The changes, which mark the most significant shift in Japan’s military approach since the end of World War II, are aimed at checking China’s military might and preserving the US’s dominant position in the Asia-Pacific region.
During the meeting, Biden did not respond to questions from reporters about the discovery at his home and a private office of classified documents that date to his 2009-2017 tenure as vice president. EFE