Friday, October 4, 2013

US, Japan aim at 'balanced' security alliance

US, Japan aim at 'balanced' security alliance: New US drones and a radar to defend against North Korean missiles will be deployed in Japan, senior politicians from both sides said Thursday as they met to rebalance their security alliance.
US Secretary of State John Kerry, Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel, Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida and Defence Minister Itsunori Onodera held the first review of the cornerstone alliance in 16 years, after years of rising Chinese power and provocations from Pyongyang.
"Our goal is a more balanced and effective alliance, where our two militaries are full partners working side-by-side with each other, and with other regional partners, to enhance peace and security," Kerry said after the meeting.
Washington has long expressed frustration at Japan's narrow interpretation of its pacifist constitution, which precludes the right of first strike and confines military action to defence against a direct attack on Japanese people or property.
At the same time a resurgent centre-right, in the form of popular Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, is increasingly nervous about China's intentions in the region.
Abe has said he wants Japan's well-resourced and well-trained military to play a more active role -- chiefly the ability to come to the aid of its ally if it were attacked, for example by a North Korean missile attack on a US base.