News / USA

    US, Japan Agree to Bolster Defenses

    John Kerry and Chuck Hagel shake hands with Itsunori Onodera and Fumio Kishida, before the Japan-US 2+2 meeting in Tokyo, Oct. 3, 2013.
    John Kerry and Chuck Hagel shake hands with Itsunori Onodera and Fumio Kishida, before the Japan-US 2+2 meeting in Tokyo, Oct. 3, 2013.
    Daniel Schearf
    The United States and Japan have agreed to boost regional military surveillance amid territorial tensions with China and nuclear and missile threats from North Korea. After security talks in Tokyo, U.S. defense officials also welcomed Japan playing a larger role in its own national defense.
     
    For the first time, the Pentagon will rotate long-distance surveillance drones to Japan and deploy its new P-8 maritime patrol aircraft.
     
    The two sides' top defense chiefs and diplomats also agreed to position a second missile defense radar in Japan.
     
    U.S. Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel outlined the purpose of the early warning system.  “This additional radar will bolster our ability to defend the U.S. homeland and Japan against North Korean ballistic missiles. And, it enhances an important 21st century alliance capability,” Hagel explained.
     
    Although the missile radar is aimed at North Korea, the advanced surveillance equipment is likely geared towards China.
     
    Japan Coast Guard vessel PS206 Houou sails in front of Uotsuri island, one of the disputed islands, called Senkaku in Japan and Diaoyu in China, in the East China Sea, Aug. 18, 2013. (File photo)Japan Coast Guard vessel PS206 Houou sails in front of Uotsuri island, one of the disputed islands, called Senkaku in Japan and Diaoyu in China, in the East China Sea, Aug. 18, 2013. (File photo)
    x
    Japan Coast Guard vessel PS206 Houou sails in front of Uotsuri island, one of the disputed islands, called Senkaku in Japan and Diaoyu in China, in the East China Sea, Aug. 18, 2013. (File photo)
    Japan Coast Guard vessel PS206 Houou sails in front of Uotsuri island, one of the disputed islands, called Senkaku in Japan and Diaoyu in China, in the East China Sea, Aug. 18, 2013. (File photo)
    Beijing sends frequent patrols near the Japan-administered Senkaku islands that China also claims and calls the Diaoyu.
     
    A joint statement issued by the U.S. and Japan Security Consultative Committee urges China to adhere to international norms.
     
    Hagel reaffirmed the Senkakus fall under U.S. treaty obligations to Japan. 

    “We strongly oppose any unilateral coercive action that seeks to undermine Japan's administrative control,” he stated.
     
    The joint statement also outlined U.S. and Japan joint projects for defense against cyberattacks, intelligence sharing, and cooperation in space.
     
    The two sides also agreed to revise the U.S.-Japan defense alliance to give Tokyo a greater role in protecting its own sovereignty.
     
    Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has been seeking to revise parts of Japan's pacifist constitution, raising concerns from its neighbors.
     
    But, the United States welcomed Tokyo's greater defense role, saying the goal was a more balanced and effective alliance with the two militaries as full partners.
     
    U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said their discussions would modernize both military and diplomatic cooperation. 

    “Today we agreed to review our bilateral defense guidelines, and in the months ahead we will work together in order to shape the framework that will guide our alliance for the years to come,” he said.
     
    They agreed a committee would submit recommended changes to the 1997 Guidelines for U.S.-Japan Defense Cooperation by the end of 2014.
     
    The United States and Japan also reaffirmed a plan to move 9,000 U.S. troops out of military bases in Okinawa.
     
    More than half of the soldiers would go to the U.S. Pacific island territory of Guam in the next decade with Japan agreeing to pay up to $3 billion of the cost.

    You May Like

    Mother of IS Supporter: Son Was Peaceful, 'Role Model'

    Somali-American Abdirizak Mohamed Warsame pleaded guilty Thursday to charges of conspiring to provide material support to Islamic State militants

    Factions Shift as Civilians Die in Syrian War

    Scenario likely only to further confuse military situation on ground and potentially worsen humanitarian crisis that already has grown to epic proportions

    Presidential Hopefuls Woo Minorities, Evangelicals

    Four GOP candidates to speak at forum at Bob Jones University in Greenville, South Carolina

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Two-thirds of World Faces Water Shortagei
    X
    February 12, 2016 7:31 PM
    Four billion people — or two out of every three on the planet — do not have enough water to meet their basic needs. That is far greater than previously thought, according to a new study that presents a more accurate picture of the problem. As VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports, the findings will help policymakers and the public craft solutions to address the threat.
    Video

    Video Two-thirds of World Faces Water Shortage

    Four billion people — or two out of every three on the planet — do not have enough water to meet their basic needs. That is far greater than previously thought, according to a new study that presents a more accurate picture of the problem. As VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports, the findings will help policymakers and the public craft solutions to address the threat.
    Video

    Video Gateway to Mecca: Historical Old Jeddah

    Local leader Sami Nawar's family has been in the Old City of Jeddah for hundreds of years and takes us on a tour of this ancient route to Mecca, also believed to be the final resting place of Adam's wife, Eve.
    Video

    Video New Technology Aims to Bring Election Transparency to Uganda

    A team of recent graduates from Uganda’s Makerere University has created a mobile application designed to help monitor elections and expose possible rigging. The developers say the app, called E-Poll, will make Uganda's democratic process fairer. From Kampala, VOA's Serginho Roosblad reports.
    Video

    Video As Refugees Perish, Greek Graveyards Fill

    Aid workers on the Greek island of Lesbos say they are struggling to bury the increasing number of bodies of refugees that have been recovered or washed up ashore in recent months.  The graveyards are all full, they say, yet as tens of thousands of people clamor to get out of Syria, it is clear refugees will still be coming in record numbers. For VOA, Hamada Elrasam reports from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video Russia Bristles at NATO Expansion in E. Europe

    Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov is meeting Friday with the head of NATO after the Western military alliance and the United States announced plans for the biggest military build-up in Europe since the Cold War. Russia has called NATO's moves a threat to stability in Europe. But NATO says the troop rotations and equipment are aimed at reassuring allies concerned about Russia as VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
    Video

    Video To Fight Zika, Scientists Target Mosquitoes

    Mosquitoes strike again. The Zika virus outbreak is just the latest headline-grabbing epidemic carried by these biting pests, but researchers are fighting back with new ways to control them. VOA's Steve Baragona takes a look.
    Video

    Video Mosul Refugees Talk About Life Under IS

    A top U.S. intelligence official told Congress this week that a planned Iraqi-led operation to re-take the city of Mosul from Islamic State militants is unlikely to take place this year. IS took over the city in June 2014, and for the past year and a half, Mosul residents have been held captive under its rule. VOA's Zana Omar talked to some families who managed to escape. Bronwyn Benito narrates his report.
    Video

    Video Scientists Make Progress Toward Better Diabetes Treatment, Cure

    Scientists at two of the top U.S. universities say they have made significant advances in their quest to find a more efficient treatment for diabetes and eventually a cure. According to the International Diabetes Federation, the disease affects more than 370 million people worldwide. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video NATO to Target Migrant Smugglers

    NATO has announced plans to send warships to the Aegean Sea to target migrant smugglers in the alliance's most direct intervention so far since a wave of people began trying to reach European shores.
    Video

    Video Russia's Catholics, Orthodox Hopeful on Historic Pope-Patriarch Meeting

    Russia's Catholic minority has welcomed an historic first meeting Friday in Cuba between the Pope and the Patriarch of Russia's dominant Orthodox Church. The Orthodox Church split with Rome in 1054 and analysts say politics, both church and state, have been driving the relationship in the centuries since. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
    Video

    Video Used Books Get a New Life on the Streets of Lagos

    Used booksellers are importing books from abroad and selling them on the streets of Africa's largest city. What‘s popular with readers may surprise you. Chris Stein reports from Lagos.
    Video

    Video After NH Primaries All Eyes on South Carolina

    After Tuesday's primary in New Hampshire, US presidential candidates swiftly turned to the next election coming up in South Carolina. The so-called “first-in-the-South” poll may help further narrow down the field of candidates. Zlatica Hoke reports.
    Video

    Video Smartphone Helps Grow Vegetables

    One day, you may be using your smartphone to grow your vegetables. A Taipei-based company has developed a farm cube — a small, enclosed ecosystem designed to grow plants indoors. The environment inside is automatically adjusted by the cube, but it can also be controlled through an app. VOA's Deborah Block has more on the gardening system.
    Video

    Video Exhibit Turns da Vinci’s Drawings Into Real Objects

    In addition to being a successful artist, Renaissance genius Leonardo da Vinci designed many practical machines, some of which are still in use today, although in different forms. But a number of his projects were never realized — until today. VOA’s George Putic reports.