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Japan’s Foreign Minister Promises A Stronger Military During Visit To US Aircraft Carrier

FILE PHOTO: The USS Abraham Lincoln deploys from San Diego Naval Air Station North Island in San Diego, California, U.S., January 3, 2022. REUTERS/Mike Blake/File Photo

Japan’s Foreign Minister Promises A Stronger Military During Visit To US Aircraft Carrier

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April 23, 2022

ABOARD USS LINCOLN, April 23 (Reuters) – Japan’s foreign minister promised his country would bolster its military to help the United States maintain regional security during a visit on Saturday to a U.S. aircraft carrier patrolling Asian waters.

“Today I was able to experience first hand the frontline of national security,” Yoshimasa Hayashi told reporters in the hangar deck of the USS Abraham Lincoln sailing in waters south of Tokyo. Japan will “significantly strengthen” its defence capabilities and work closely with the United States, he added.

Japan’s Foreign Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi speaks during a joint news conference with U.S. Ambassador to Japan Rahm Emanuel while they visit U.S. Navy aircraft carrier Abraham Lincoln in waters close to Japan in this photo distributed by Kyodo on April 23, 2022. Mandatory credit Kyodo/via REUTERS

Hayashi spoke amid concern in Japan that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, which it sees as an affront to international diplomatic norms, could encourage neighbouring China to use military muscle to win control of Taiwan and threaten nearby Japanese islands. 

Japan has also expressed concern about Beijing’s deepening security ties with Moscow, that have included joint drills in waters surrounding Japan.

China has said its intentions in Asia are peaceful.

Hayashi flew out to the aircraft carrier from Tokyo with U.S. Ambassador Rahm Emanuel, who warned that the invasion of Ukraine, which Russian describes as a “special operation”, posed security risks in regions far beyond Europe, including in the Indo Pacific. 

The two watched carrier flight operations from the deck of the Lincoln, which had just sailed from the Sea of Japan close to the Korean peninsula where it had conducted naval exercises with Japan’s Maritime Self Defense Force following the latest missile launch by North Korea.

Reporting by Tim Kelly; Editing by Christina Fincher

(c) Copyright Thomson Reuters 2022.

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