Japan, US agree to work for free, open Indo-Pacific

TOKYO, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and top US military officer Gen. Mark Milley on Tuesday vowed to strengthen their alliance and to work for realizing “free and open” Indo-Pacific concept amid China’s expansionism in the region.

“We would like to bolster the deterrence and response capabilities of the Japan-US alliance and cooperate to realize a free and open Indo-Pacific,” Abe told Milley at the outset of the meeting. The US Joint Chiefs of Staff replied, “Both Japan and the US are facing common challenges in this region. We hope to continue to jointly deal with them.” Abe and Milley also confirmed their close cooperation between the Japanese Self-Defense Forces and the US Army on a series of ballistic missile launches by North Korea.

Pyongyang has so far carried out weapon tests 12 times this year, with the last test-firing taking place on October 31 when it fired two unidentified projectiles toward the Sea of Japan.

Source: Kuwait News Agency