Japan, US to hold security talks before Kishida meets Biden

Jan 5, 2023, 9:35 AM | Updated: Jan 6, 2023, 8:25 am
FILE - Japan's Foreign Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi, right, and Defense Minister Yasukazu Hamada, sec...

FILE - Japan's Foreign Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi, right, and Defense Minister Yasukazu Hamada, second right, attend a bilateral meeting with Indian coutnerparts in Tokyo on Sept. 8, 2022. Japan and the United States will hold security talks between their foreign and defense ministers in Washington the day before Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida lands in the U.S. capital next week wrapping up his tour of Group of Seven nations as Tokyo expands its military and deepen alliance with America amid China's growing influence.(Rodrigo Reyes Marin/Pool Photo via AP, File)

(Rodrigo Reyes Marin/Pool Photo via AP, File)

TOKYO (AP) — Japan and the United States will hold security talks between their foreign and defense ministers in Washington the day before Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida lands in the U.S. capital next week, wrapping up his tour of the Group of Seven nations as Tokyo expands its military and deepens its alliance with America amid China’s growing influence.

Kishida will embark Monday on a five-nation trip to France, Italy, Britain and Canada ahead of his Jan. 13 summit with U.S. President Joe Biden. The two leaders last met during a Group of 20 meeting in Bali, Indonesia, but Kishida’s Washington visit will be his first as prime minister.

While there has been speculation about a visit to Ukraine, Kishida said Friday he told President Volodymyr Zelenskyy he’s considering his invitation to Kyiv if “various circumstances” permit, but nothing had been decided at the moment.

Defense Minister Yasukazu Hamada and Foreign Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi will fly to Washington to join their American counterparts Lloyd Austin and Antony Blinken for their “2+2” security talks Wednesday, just before their leaders’ summit at the White House, Japanese officials said Friday.

The “2+2” talks are expected to focus on their new national security strategies, released by Japan in mid-December and the United States in October, and how the two allies plan to tackle security concerns including China, North Korea and Russia.

“We will discuss strengthening of deterrence and response capability of the Japan-U.S. alliance as we take into consideration our new strategy documents,” Hamada told reporters.

Hamada said Friday he and Austin will separately hold bilateral defense talks on Thursday to discuss details of how their militaries can expand and deepen their operations.

Asked if they will discuss a revision to their current defense guideline based on Japan’s more defensive role, Hamada said nothing has been decided.

Japan in December adopted a set of three security and defense strategy documents that break from its exclusively self-defense-only stance. Under the new strategies, Japan vows to build up its counterstrike capability with long-range cruise missiles including U.S.-made Tomahawks that can reach potential targets in China, double its defense budget within five years and bolster development of advanced weapons.

U.S. officials have welcomed Japan’s willingness to take on a more offensive role, while experts say it could also help widen cooperation with Australia, their main regional defense partner.

Kishida on Wednesday said his talks with Biden will underscore the strength of the Japan-U.S. alliance and highlight closer cooperation between the countries under Japan’s new security and defense strategies adopted last month.

He said coordination with other G-7 leaders ahead of the Hiroshima summit he will host in May is a key purpose of his trip, but Japanese officials said their talks will also focus on security and military cooperation.

Officials said Kishida wants to seek like-minded countries’ continued military engagement in the Indo-Pacific region and expand their cooperation as a counter to China. Kishida also wants to confirm G-7 unity in dealing with Russia’s war on Ukraine.

Kishida on Friday promised Zelenskyy he will do his utmost as G-7 president to support Ukraine. Japan will provide 300 power generators and 83,500 solar-powered lanterns to help the Ukrainians survive the cold winter, the Japanese Foreign Ministry said.

In France, Kishida plans to discuss a further deepening of security ties through joint military exercises. Japan’s joint development and production of its F-X next-generation fighter jet with Italy and Britain for deployment in 2035 will be a top agenda item during his visits in Rome and London in an effort to expand military ties.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


FILE - A Boeing 737 Max jet prepares to land at Boeing Field following a test flight in Seattle, Se...
Associated Press

Boeing to be arraigned in court over two Max jet crashes

Boeing representatives and relatives of some of the passengers killed in two crashes of Boeing 737 Max jets will meet face-to-face in a Texas courtroom Thursday, where the aerospace giant will be arraigned on a criminal charge that it thought it had settled two years ago.
11 hours ago
abortion Capital gains tax Olympia meeting legislature abortion...
Associated Press

Washington lawmakers hear testimony on 7 abortion bills

Abortion rights proposals have been front and center in Olympia, Washington, this week as state lawmakers heard hours of public testimony on seven proposals that would reinforce abortion access.
11 hours ago
FILE - The sun dial near the Legislative Building is shown under cloudy skies, March 10, 2022, at t...
Gene Johnson, Associated Press

Justices weigh effort to balance Washington state’s tax code

SEATTLE (AP) — An effort to balance what is considered the nation’s most regressive state tax code comes before the Washington Supreme Court on Thursday, in a case that could overturn a prohibition on income taxes that dates to the 1930s. Washington is one of nine states without an income tax, and its heavy reliance […]
11 hours ago
Marc Ostfield, U.S. ambassador to Paraguay, speaks during a press conference in Asuncion, Paraguay,...
Associated Press

U.S. sanctions Paraguay VP, former president for corruption

LIMA, Peru (AP) — The United States issued sanctions against Paraguay’s former President Horacio Cartes Jara and current Vice President Hugo Velázquez Moreno, unveiling explosive accusations on Thursday that they participated in widespread schemes of corruption and have ties to members of a terrorist organization. The former president and current vice president have been involved […]
1 day ago
Space Shuttle Columbia team members remember the loss of the STS-107 crew during NASA's Day of Reme...
Associated Press

NASA marks 20 years since space shuttle Columbia disaster

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) — NASA marked the 20th anniversary of the space shuttle Columbia tragedy with somber ceremonies and remembrances during its annual tribute to fallen astronauts on Thursday. More than 100 people gathered under a gray sky at Kennedy Space Center to remember not only Columbia’s crew of seven, but the 18 other […]
1 day ago
FILE - The logo for Chevron appears above a trading post on the floor of the New York Stock Exchang...
Associated Press

Chevron’s buyback boosts stock, get rebuke from White House

Shares of Chevron climbed Thursday after the oil company announced that it would repurchase $75 billion of its stock, one of the largest-ever stock buyback plans. The company’s board also approved an increase of about 6% in its quarterly dividend, to $1.51 per share. Chevron Corp. said the buyback is effective on April 1, and […]
1 day ago

Sponsored Articles

safety from crime...

As crime increases, our safety measures must too

It's easy to be accused of fearmongering regarding crime, but Seattle residents might have good reason to be concerned for their safety.
Comcast Ready for Business Fund...
Ilona Lohrey | President and CEO, GSBA

GSBA is closing the disparity gap with Ready for Business Fund

GSBA, Comcast, and other partners are working to address disparities in access to financial resources with the Ready for Business fund.

Medicare open enrollment is here and SHIBA can help!

The SHIBA program – part of the Office of the Insurance Commissioner – is ready to help with your Medicare open enrollment decisions.
Lake Washington Windows...

Choosing Best Windows for Your Home

Lake Washington Windows and Doors is a local window dealer offering the exclusive Leak Armor installation.
Anacortes Christmas Tree...

Come one, come all! Food, Drink, and Coastal Christmas – Anacortes has it all!

Come celebrate Anacortes’ 11th annual Bier on the Pier! Bier on the Pier takes place on October 7th and 8th and features local ciders, food trucks and live music - not to mention the beautiful views of the Guemes Channel and backdrop of downtown Anacortes.
Swedish Cyberknife Treatment...

The revolutionary treatment of Swedish CyberKnife provides better quality of life for majority of patients

There are a wide variety of treatments options available for men with prostate cancer. One of the most technologically advanced treatment options in the Pacific Northwest is Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy using the CyberKnife platform at Swedish Medical Center.
Japan, US to hold security talks before Kishida meets Biden