Pentagon Chief Supports Japan Acquiring Counterstrike Capabilities


Washington, Sept. 14 (Jiji Press)--U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, meeting with visiting Japanese Defense Minister Yasukazu Hamada on Wednesday, indicated strong support for Japan's plans to fundamentally strengthen its defense capacity including its possible acquisition of counterstrike capabilities.

Amid the increasingly severe security environment in East Asia partly reflecting China's military pressure against Taiwan, Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida has announced a plan to substantially increase Japan's defense spending.

Ahead of the planned revisions late this year of the Japanese government's three key defense and security documents, including the national security strategy, how much the nation should increase its defense spending and whether it should possess counterstrike capabilities have been focal points of discussion.

Hamada met with Austin in person for the first time since taking office in August.

At the meeting, held in Washington, Austin criticized China, saying that its "coercive actions in the Taiwan Strait and in the waters surrounding Japan are provocative, destabilizing and unprecedented." The pentagon chief reaffirmed his country's "unwavering commitment to the defense of Japan."

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press