Home Politics As Kishida meets Biden, what’s the state of the US-Japan alliance?

As Kishida meets Biden, what’s the state of the US-Japan alliance?


By Mireya Solís

Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida’s first visit to Washington as leader on January 13, 2023 marked a major transformation in the U.S.-Japan alliance. Japan’s new security reforms and Tokyo’s proactive response to the Ukraine crisis have been warmly received in Washington. They underscore a Japan more determined to strengthen its own defense capabilities and contribute to regional deterrence, and reveal new potential to leverage the bilateral partnership to address serious challenges to the international order.

Not surprisingly, U.S.-Japan relations moved at a fast tempo in the weeks and days prior to the arrival of the Japanese leader, with major policy announcements and bilateral agreements. At the end of 2022, the Japanese government revised its National Security Strategy (NSS), National Defense Strategy, and Defense Buildup Program. A major pledge ran through the revised strategic documents: that Tokyo is ready to marshal its comprehensive national power to meet the challenges derived from the most severe security environment of the past 70 years.

Early in the new year, Yasutoshi Nishimura, head of Japan’s Ministry of Trade, Economy and Industry, traveled to Washington to sign agreements…

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