Secretary of State Antony Blinken said the U.S. and Japan will sign a five-year framework to support U.S. military presence in the East Asian country and another pact to pursue research and development work on new defense technologies, Defense News reported Friday.
“We’re launching a new research and development agreement that will make it easier for our scientists, for our engineers, and program managers to collaborate on emerging defense-related issues – from countering hypersonic threats to advancing space-based capabilities,” Blinken, a 2021 Wash100 Award winner, said Thursday at the 2022 U.S.-Japan Security Consultative Committee Meeting.
He noted that the five-year will invest resources to further expand military interoperability and readiness amid challenges posed by near-peer competitors such as Russia and China.
Under the hosting agreement, Japan will support U.S. military forces in the country by spending about $1.82 billion on an annual basis. The U.S. has approximately 55,000 soldiers in Japan.
Defense Secretary and 2021 Wash100 Award recipient Lloyd Austin joined Blinken during the virtual meeting and noted that the two countries are carrying out “bold steps” to enhance their alliance and readiness and strengthen integrated deterrence. He also mentioned plans to establish a framework for the coming year.
“This framework will include, first, enhancing alliance capabilities across all domains; also, evolving our roles and missions to reflect Japan’s growing ability to contribute to regional peace and stability; and optimizing our alliance force posture to strengthen deterrence,” Austin added.
Blinken and Austin met with their Japanese counterparts, Foreign Minister Hayashi Yoshimasa and Defense Minister Kishi Nobuo, during the meeting.