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Xinhua: U.S. and Japan Plan Largest Upgrade of Security Alliance in Over 60 Years

Xinhua recently reported that the United States and Japan are planning to counter China by implementing the biggest upgrade to their security alliance since they signed a security treaty in 1960. According to five people familiar with the matter, U.S. President Joe Biden and Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida will announce plans to reorganize the U.S. military headquarters in Japan during Kishida’s visit to the United States in April. The goal is to strengthen combat planning and joint military exercises.

Currently, the Japan Command of the U.S. Forces, based at Yokota Base, does not have command authority over the U.S. Navy’s Seventh Fleet or the Marine Corps stationed in Okinawa. The command of these forces lies with the U.S. Indo-Pacific Command in Hawaii. It is expected that after the planned upgrade, command authority of the aforementioned forces will still be retained by the Indo-Pacific Command, but authority of the Japan Command will increase. It will gain more authority in U.S.-Japan joint military exercises, intelligence sharing, supply dispatching, and coordination with the Unified Operations Command of Japan’s Self-Defense Forces.

In recent years, the United States and Japan have been promoting military cooperation between the two countries, publicly stating that the move is aimed at countering China. U.S. Defense Secretary Austin claimed in June of last year that the U.S. and Japan were working hard to further modernize military relations in order to prevent China’s so-called “coercive behavior.”

Source: Xinhua, March 25, 2024