Thursday, June 23, 2011

US, Japan call for strong Asia-Pacific defense

While it strove to avoid singling out China, the joint statement of the 2+2 ministerial was a clear indicator that Beijing is increasingly a source of worry for the region

Top US and Japanese defense and foreign affairs officials on Tuesday reaffirmed the US-Japan Alliance and called for peaceful resolution of disputes in the Taiwan Strait through dialogue, while admitting that plans to relocate US troops from a military base in Okinawa would miss their deadline.

The Security Consultative Committee meeting, held in Washington, involved US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, US Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, Japanese Minister of Foreign Affairs Takeaki Matsumoto and Japanese Minister of National Defense Toshimi Kitazawa. This was the first meeting of the committee, informally known as the “2+2 ministerial,” in four years.

In a joint statement, the committee said it recognized the need to address a number of challenges in an “increasingly uncertain security environment,” which included expanding military capabilities and activities in the region, as well as the emergence of non-traditional security concerns.

The US government reaffirmed its commitment to the defense of Japan and to peace and security in the Asia-Pacific region, including through regional alliances and the full range of US military capabilities, both nuclear and conventional.

My article, published today in the Taipei Times, continues here.

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