01:08 GMT21 September 2020
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    US Deputy Secretary of Defense Bob Work and Japanese Administrative Vice Minister of Defense Tetsuro Kuroe met on Wednesday at the Pentagon for talks on enhancing an allied presence against potential threats in Asia including North Korea, Pentagon Deputy Press Secretary Gordon Trowbridge said in a press release.

    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — In bilateral talks, both countries discussed issues that include enhancing cooperation with South Korea and Australia, expanding Japan’s military operations and strengthening ballistic missile defense cooperation, Trowbridge noted.

    “During their meeting, the two leaders discussed the rapidly evolving security environment, including the persistent North Korean threat and maritime issues in the East and South China Seas,” Trowbridge stated on Wednesday.

    Work reaffirmed that the Senkaku Islands in the East China Sea are administered by Japan and fall under Article 5 of the US-Japan Mutual Security Treaty, the spokesman added.

    Japan is shadowed by China’s growing military presence in the South China Sea, potentially threatening the Japanese economy, which relies on open and secure shipping lanes. Meanwhile, North Korea is driving efforts to develop a nuclear and ballistic weapons program.


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