Kishida Vows to Defend Freedom, Democracy

Politics

Washington, Jan. 13 (Jiji Press)--Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida on Friday underscored his country's commitment to the defense of freedom and democracy, in an address at Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies in Washington.

Noting that the international order is now in jeopardy due to Russia's invasion of Ukraine, he said that Japan will "take action to defend our freedom and democracy."

"Due to the ongoing major shift in the balance of power across the globe, nations are now once again competing fiercely, and the world is now entering an era where we are witnessing a complex intertwining of cooperation and division," he said in the speech, entitled "Japan's Decision at History's Turning Point."

The Japanese government's revision late last year of its three key national security documents is "one of the most historically critical milestones" for strengthening the Japan-U.S. alliance, Kishida said, citing Japan's plans to increase its defense spending to 2 pct of the country's gross domestic product, acquire counterstrike capabilities and improve response capabilities in the field of cybersecurity.

Kishida showed concern over China, saying that the country "has some visions and claims on the international order that...we can never accept." Japan should "say what needs to be said to China," he stated while stressing the need for Tokyo and Beijing to make efforts to build "a constructive and stable relationship."

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