With the application of the Biden government and China becoming increasingly assertive, it now appears that Japan is more willing to join forces with the United States in its unequivocal criticism of China’s actions.
Mr. Kishi, the defense minister, said Japan could not accept China’s actions to increase tensions in the East and South China Seas at all, and indicated that it was violating international law.
Yet Japanese Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi has less openly criticized China.
While Mr. Blinken China – and Myanmar, where the army held a coup last month – explicitly singled out because they threatened ‘democracy, human rights and the rule of law’, avoiding Mr. Motegi to call China directly. He said he welcomed the alliance for its role in protecting “peace and prosperity in the Indo-Pacific.”
Analysts said Japan could temper its language because it could lose more as a result of the confrontation with China.
“One big difference is their economic relations with China,” said Narushige Michishita, vice president of the National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies in Tokyo. ‘While the US can live without China, Japan cannot. They need to find a common ground there. ‘
The high-level visit to Washington reminded Japan in part that it has much in common with the United States. That this is the first official trip for Mr. Blinken and mr. Austin has been reiterated several times since taking office on Tuesday to reassure Japan of its value to the Biden government.
The alliance with Japan has never suffered as much damage under the Trump administration as American partnerships in Europe. Mr. Abe has a close relationship with Mr. Trump maintained and offered him for two visits to Japan. Last October, when then-Secretary of State Mike Pompeo met with Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga, the two exchanged a fistfight that lasted 15 seconds.
Tuesday, when Mr. Suck with mr. Austin and Mr. Blinken gathered in his official residence, they all bowed – as is the custom in Japan.
Makiko Inoue contributed to Toyko reporting, and Steven Lee Myers from Seoul.