Nikkei speculated that Motegi’s reappointment as foreign minister demonstrates Prime Minister Suga’s intention to continue the diplomatic approach of former Prime Minister Abe, who deepened Japan’s ties with the United States. Suga told reporters on Wednesday that he will defend Japan’s national interests by implementing policies based on the U.S.-Japan alliance and he wants Foreign Minister Motegi to further strengthen the bilateral alliance and promote the vision of a “free and open Indo-Pacific.” The paper speculated that maintaining Japan’s strong relations with the United States is a top priority for the Suga administration. The paper also wrote that the new cabinet will have to engage in difficult negotiations with Washington on Japan’s share of the cost of stationing U.S. troops and the second stage of bilateral trade talks.
On the security front, the paper wrote that it will be necessary for Defense Minister Kishi to swiftly develop the nation’s new missile defense policy, including the possibility of Japan acquiring the capability to attack enemy bases and an alternative to the canceled Aegis Ashore deployment. The paper noted that former Prime Minister Abe issued a statement before he stepped down saying that the next cabinet will come up with a new policy by the end of this year.