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USFJ commander determined to counter China’s ambitions with U.S.-Japan Alliance

Sunday’s Yomiuri published its one-on-one interview with Lt. Gen. Schneider, the commander of the U.S. Forces Japan, which was held at Yokota AB on Jan. 7. The paper said this was the first time for the commander to hold an interview with a mainstream Japanese media outlet since he assumed his post last February. According to the daily, Lt. Gen. Schneider pointed out that “over the long term, the biggest challenge will come from China,” and expressed concern about China’s military expansion, including its possession of a large volume of intermediate-range missiles and development of hypersonic weapons. He also reportedly expressed the view that China is “trying to acquire offensive power in order to rewrite the international order that is based on the rule of law.” The paper quoted Lt. Gen. Schneider as saying that in order to counter China’s ill-intentioned activities, the Alliance cannot remain as is, adding that both the SDF and the U.S. military must continue to make progress. According to the paper, the commander pointed out that the most imminent security challenge is North Korea, saying that U.S. Forces are prepared for the possibility of North Korea resuming missile testing. He also reportedly said that U.S. Forces Japan are growing increasingly important.

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