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U.S. Promises To ‘Defend’ Japan with Nuclear Weapons if Need Be

Jan. 12, 2023, 2022 (EIRNS)—The joint statement released, following the “2+2” 2023 U.S.-Japan Consultative Committee meetings of the U.S. and Japanese defense and foreign ministers yesterday, includes a commitment by the U.S. to defend Japan with nuclear weapons if necessary. “The United States restated its unwavering commitment to the defense of Japan under Article V of the Japan-U.S. Security Treaty, using its full range of capabilities, including nuclear,” the statement said. “The ministers held an in-depth discussion on U.S. extended deterrence for Japan, as well as on the recently released U.S. Nuclear Posture Review, and reaffirmed the critical importance of ensuring U.S. extended deterrence remains credible and resilient, bolstered by Japan’s capabilities.”

Another point stressed in the document is the “unprecedented alignment of their vision, priorities, and goals” expressed in the two governments’ national security and national defense strategies. “This forms a solid foundation for their efforts to constantly modernize the Alliance in order to address the increasingly severe security environment,” it says.

Naturally, it included the usual nonsense about U.S.-Japan commitment to “a free and open Indo-Pacific region” and hailed “the U.S.-Japan Alliance as the cornerstone of regional peace, security, and prosperity.”

All of this is aimed against China, of course. The four ministers “reiterated their strong opposition to China’s intensified attempts to unilaterally change the status quo by force in the East China Sea, including through actions that seek to undermine Japan’s longstanding administration of the Senkaku Islands,” the statement says. “The United States reaffirmed that Article V of the Japan-U.S. Security Treaty applies to the Senkaku Islands. The Ministers condemned China’s dangerous and provocative military activities around Japan, including China’s ballistic missile launches in August 2022, during which some missiles landed in waters near Japan’s Sakishima Islands. They shared their continuing concerns regarding China’s ongoing and accelerating expansion of its nuclear arsenal, which is also characterized by its lack of transparency.”

The islands are known as Diaoyu Dao by China, which were seized by Japan in 1895, and recognized by the Allies in 1943 (Cairo Declaration) and again in 1945 (Potsdam Proclamation) as being Chinese territory, and also including Taiwan and other territories that Japan had occupied.

The “2+2” statement was welcomed by Taipei. Foreign Ministry spokesperson Joanne Ou said that Taiwan welcomes the support from Japan and the United States, reported Radio Taiwan International. She said that Taiwan will work with these “like-minded” countries to defend “universal values” such as democracy, freedom, human rights, and the rule of law.

There’s not much response, yet, from Beijing to yesterday’s events in Washington. “We have noted the reports,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin responded to AFP about the U.S.-Japan statement. “Military cooperation between the U.S. and Japan must not harm the interests of third parties or undermine the peace and stability in the region.”

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