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U.S., Japan to pledge to “jointly deter China” in statement 

Nikkei led with a report saying that the governments of the United States and Japan are making arrangements to release a statement at their summit meeting in Tokyo on May 23 expressing their intention to jointly “deter and respond to” China’s activities. The paper wrote that the joint statement will also outline a policy of keeping Japan under the U.S. nuclear umbrella and sharing security strategies. The paper added that the United States will announce the launch of the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework (IPEF) at the summit to clarify its involvement in Asia.   


The paper speculated that the two nations’ concern that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine will have implications for Asia is behind their decision to refer to deterrence against China in the joint statement. The daily also conjectured that although the United States will need to conduct a three-front strategy in Europe, the Middle East, and East Asia for the time being, it will stress both domestically and internationally that its top priority is China, which it believes to be its only strategic competitor.  


The paper went on to say that the joint statement released last year by President Biden and then-Prime Minister Suga mentioned the importance of peace and stability in the “Taiwan Strait” for the first time in almost half a century and included the phrase “the importance of deterrence” in the region. However, Washington and Tokyo are planning to strengthen the wording this time to include language on deterring and responding to China’s actions that undermine stability in the region. The statement will also emphasize that they “will not allow the status quo to be changed by force” and mention the importance of peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait. The two countries will confirm their intention to continue imposing economic sanctions on Russia and condemn Moscow’s threats to use nuclear weapons. The statement will also call for the complete denuclearization of North Korea, the paper said. 


The paper also said the United States will clarify its stance of defending Japan under its nuclear umbrella and reaffirm its extended deterrence for Japan in the joint statement. The two countries will also confirm their intention to share security goals and strategies ahead of Japan’s update of its National Security Strategy by the end of this year. Prime Minister Kishida will brief the President on Japan’s discussions on increasing its defense spending and the possibility of acquiring “counterstrike capabilities.” 


Regarding economic strategy, the two countries will agree to hold their first economic 2+2 ministerial meeting at an early date and outline their basic policy of creating a stable supply chain for semiconductors, the paper said. Kishida is reportedly planning to convey to the President Japan’s intention to participate in IPEF. NHK filed a similar story, projecting that the President will make an official announcement on the IPEF launch during the summit meeting with the prime minister, who is expected to commit to Japan’s membership on the spot. The network said that since the initiative does not involve cuts in import tariffs, Japan will continue to urge the Biden administration to return to the TPP. The broadcaster added that the two leaders are expected to exchange views on how to secure stable supplies of strategic materials. 


Nikkei and NHK also said that Secretary of Commerce Raimondo told reporters on Tuesday that President Biden will announce the launch of IPEF during his visit to Japan. 

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