20:44 GMT20 April 2021
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    TOKYO (Sputnik) - Japanese Defence Minister Nobuo Kishi and US Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin expressed commitment to boosting the bilateral alliance during the talks in Tokyo.

    During the meeting, Kishi reiterated the thesis that the first overseas visit of the Pentagon chief to specifically to Japan "was a strong message reflecting the strength of the Japanese-US alliance".

    Austin in his opening remarks said that the alliance between the United States and Japan was the cornerstone for preserving a free and open Indo-Pacific region and countering threats.

    Japan Ground Self-Defense Force Col. Hiroji Yamashita, left, and U.S. Marine Maj. Roy M. Draa salute their troops Dec. 1 during the opening ceremony for Forest Light 15-1 at the Oyanohara Training Area in Yamato, Kumamoto prefecture, Japan. Forest Light is a semi-annual, bilateral exercise consisting of a command post exercise and field training event conducted by elements of III Marine Expeditionary Force and the JGSDF. Yamashita is the commanding officer with 42nd Regiment, 8th Division, Western Army, JGSDF. Draa, from Baltimore, Maryland, and is the executive officer with 2nd Battalion, 9th Marine Regiment, currently attached to 4th Marine Regiment, 3rd Marine Division, III MEF, under the unit deployment program
    US Marine Corps/Cpl. Drew Tech
    Japan Ground Self-Defense Force Col. Hiroji Yamashita, left, and U.S. Marine Maj. Roy M. Draa salute their troops Dec. 1 during the opening ceremony for Forest Light 15-1 at the Oyanohara Training Area in Yamato, Kumamoto prefecture, Japan. Forest Light is a semi-annual, bilateral exercise consisting of a command post exercise and field training event conducted by elements of III Marine Expeditionary Force and the JGSDF. Yamashita is the commanding officer with 42nd Regiment, 8th Division, Western Army, JGSDF. Draa, from Baltimore, Maryland, and is the executive officer with 2nd Battalion, 9th Marine Regiment, currently attached to 4th Marine Regiment, 3rd Marine Division, III MEF, under the unit deployment program

    Later in the day, Austin, as well as US Secretary of State Antony Blinken will hold a 2+2 format meeting with their Japanese counterparts to discuss issues related to strengthening military alliances of Washington with Tokyo as well as Chinese activity in the East China and South China seas.

    On Monday, the American officials embarked on the first major foreign trip of Joe Biden's presidency to cement alliances with Japan and South Korea in the face of growing challenges by China to the US posture in the Indo-Pacific.

    Tags:
    Lloyd Austin, Antony Blinken, alliances, alliance, Japan, US
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