Japan-US Summit: Speak Practically about Strengthening Alliance

Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga will meet U.S. President Joe Biden in Washington, D.C. on April 16.

Joe Biden chose Yoshihide Suga as the first foreign head of state with whom to meet. In March, America’s secretaries of state and defense visited Japan and held the Japan-United States Security Consultative Committee, or “two plus two dialogue,” with their counterparts.

This is a sign of how much the Biden administration values Japan. It is not just because Japan is a great economic power that shares American values. It is also important that it is on the front lines with China, a source of deep disturbance of the peace.

It is most important for the prime minister to defend Japan’s independence and peace and its people’s lives and property. Suga should make the containment of China via the Japanese-American alliance the meeting’s main theme and speak of a new division of roles for Japan.

The Chinese government has expanded its military reach using its economy — the world’s second-largest — as leverage, and it continues to forcefully advance into the South and East China Seas in violation of international law. To take the Senkaku Islands in Okinawa Prefecture, it continues to send warplanes into Taiwan’s air defense identification zone. It continues its severe oppression at home.

At a press conference in March, Biden said, “this is a battle between the utility of democracies in the 21st century and autocracies.” His thoughts indicate that he intends to start a new cold war with China in cooperation with allies in the name of peace.

If China cannot be contained, freedom, peace and prosperity cannot be safeguarded. in addition to Japan and America, the security cooperation of Australia and India (the four-country framework known as the “Quad”) is important.

What kind of new role can Japan play in enhancing our allies’ deterrence and resistance abilities? It is debatable in what way Japan can strengthen its diplomacy and military and put them to use.

It is expected that the summit’s joint statement will affirm the importance of peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait. Chinese military actions, which are aimed at annexing Taiwan, must be restrained no matter what.

It is also time to bolster measures aimed at human rights problems. We want Suga to recognize the grave human rights infringements in the Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region as genocide and show resistance to it in line with the West.

We’d also like the issues of North Korea’s abduction of Japanese, nuclear weapons and missiles to be resisted as an alliance.

The summit will also address COVID-19, climate change and economic security. Japan is progressive in introducing energy conservation technology. There is no need for Suga to venture into comparing greenhouse gas reduction targets.

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