US President Donald Trump’s nominee for ambassador to Japan has suggested he will call on the country to do more to contribute to security in Northeast Asia.
Kenneth Weinstein, president and CEO of conservative think tank Hudson Institute, made the comments at his confirmation hearing before the Senate on Wednesday.
With the apparent aim of countering China’s military buildup, Weinstein said he “will encourage Japan to shoulder even greater responsibility in the face of significant security challenges we face together in Northeast Asia.”
He added the United States is “doing more, Japan needs to do more,” and Prime Minister Shinzo Abe “understands this well.”
Signaling Washington hopes Tokyo will contribute more to the financial burden of their security arrangement, Weinstein noted that “Japan has certainly significantly increased its purchases of US military equipment,” and that the two sides “will come to some sort of a fruitful conclusion for these host nation support negotiations.”
On North Korea, he said “the North Korean nuclear program is a major challenge” the United States faces “together with the Japanese” that requires the two parties “to continue our engagement with North Korea, but to be absolutely firm in boosting the deterrent and boosting missile defense working together with the Japanese, working together with the Republic of Korea.”
Weinstein will officially become ambassador following Senate approval.