Historical shift: Japan & US beef up defense pact to counter ‘China threat’

Not surprisingly, the new defense pact between Tokyo and Washington has caused tensions with Beijing. Ahead of the report’s release, China issued a statement saying that the new guidelines should not interfere with its interests.

Japan and the United States have agreed to create a new defense partnership to counter their perceived threat of China. Tokyo has become more assertive in its military policy under Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, but this has led to protests at home.

The new pact will help to set out how Japan and the US will work together during various degrees of provocation, from peacetime, to when Tokyo may be under, or carrying out, an armed attack.

“The two governments will take measures to prevent the deterioration of Japan’s security in all phases, seamlessly, from peacetime to contingencies,” an interim report between the two countries stated, Reuters reported.

This is the first time the two countries have revised their bilateral security arrangements in 17 years and it can largely be seen as a response to increased Chinese military activity, especially in the East China Sea.

Tokyo and Beijing have been involved in a disagreement about a group of islands, which are currently controlled by Japan in the East China Sea. Their importance of the Senkaku Islands, as they are known in Japan, has grown, with the belief that there are oil reserves under the seabed.


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