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NSC Secretariat head affirms close ties with top U.S. officials

Kyodo News reported from Washington that according to a GOJ official, visiting National Security Secretariat Secretary General Kitamura on Wednesday affirmed with top U.S. government officials their close bilateral ties in the wake of the first change in Japanese leadership in nearly eight years. Kitamura reportedly said during talks with Defense Secretary Esper that under the new Japanese leader Suga, Tokyo will continue to strengthen the bilateral alliance while beefing up its defense capabilities and deterrence force. Kitamura also explained to Secretary Esper the ongoing study to find an alternative to the deployment of land-based Aegis Ashore missile defense units, according to the official.

In a meeting with Deputy Secretary of State Biegun later in the day, Kitamura reportedly said the Japan-U.S. alliance will remain the cornerstone of Japan’s foreign and security policy and that Japan will continue to pursue a free and open Indo-Pacific.

Other issues that were discussed during the two meetings on Wednesday reportedly included bilateral cooperation on space and economic security as well as North Korea and the East and South China Seas, the official said.

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