The United States, to deter China, is set to improve anti-ship missile capabilities in Japan significantly, said Reuters citing three U.S. officials. The total number of U.S. troops in Japan is not likely to change, but the deployment of new capabilities may be the first in a series of announcements aimed at deterring Chinese military force.
After nearly a year of talks, the deal to deploy new anti-ship capabilities has come. The agreement will be formally announced on Wednesday following the meeting between Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, Secretary of State Antony Blinken, and their Japanese counterparts.
Austin will meet Japanese Defense Minister Yasukazu Hamada on Thursday at the Pentagon, tracked by a meeting between U.S. President Joe Biden and Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida on Friday.
The most delinquent US move has come a month after Japan unveiled its most significant military build-up since the Second World War. It is a five-year plan that was once unthinkable in the pacifist country. However, China’s increasing power in the region has concerned policymakers in Japan.
The officials said that the anti-ship missiles would arrive in Japan under a revamped Marine Corps regiment of 2,000 troops that will focus on advanced intelligence, surveillance, and transportation. The move is expected to be concluded by 2025.
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