Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida anticipated his visit to Washington by warning of a repeat of the Ukrainian scenario in Asia. He also signed an agreement in London to accelerate defense and security cooperation and the deployment of forces in the two countries.
Japanese Prime Minister Kishida said that his country is preparing to double its military budget, making it the third largest military budget in the world after the United States and China by 2027.
Kishida added in an interview published by The Washington Post that the security environment in the world is undergoing a major change, and that what is happening in Ukraine today may be witnessed in Asia tomorrow.
Kishida stressed that unilateral attempts to change the status quo are unacceptable, noting that peace and stability in Taiwan are important to the international community.
agreement with Britain
British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak signed with his Japanese counterpart in London a defense agreement that would accelerate defense and security cooperation between Japan and Britain, and allow the deployment of their respective forces in both countries.
The agreement also allows their forces to plan and implement larger and more complex military exercises and deployments.
This mutual access agreement is the first of its kind for Japan with a European country, and the first for Britain in more than a hundred years.
The British Prime Minister said that this agreement is of great importance to both countries, and reinforces Britain's commitment to the security and stability of the Indo-Pacific region, and confirms the two countries' joint efforts to enhance economic security and accelerate defense cooperation.
This agreement was agreed in principle last May, a month after the two countries cooperated with Italy on a new fighter jet programme.
Japanese Prime Minister during his visit to London (Reuters)
Defense policy change
This tour of the Japanese Prime Minister comes about 3 weeks after Japan made the largest amendment to its defense policy since the end of World War II, and approved a new defense policy document that considers China a strategic challenge, and describes Russia as a source of concern for its national security.
This transformation includes doubling the annual defense budget to reach more than 80 billion dollars within five years, in addition to unifying its military leadership and increasing the range of its missiles, while the ability to launch a counterattack and target enemy missile launch sites is one of the most prominent features of the change in the Japanese combat doctrine. .
In this context, Japan is considering purchasing up to 500 Tomahawk cruise missiles from the United States.
In this context, the Wall Street Journal said that the US administration is expanding its security commitment to Japan.
The newspaper quoted US officials as saying that the US plans include the stationing of a coastal regiment of the US Navy by 2025 in Okinawa, with a number of up to 2,200 personnel, equipped with anti-ship missiles.
The plans also support Tokyo's decision to acquire Tomahawk missiles, enabling them to strike targets on the Chinese mainland and in North Korea in the event of any aggression, according to the newspaper.