News / Asia

Hagel Confirms US Support for Japan, Asian Allies

U.S. Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel speaks during the closing news conference at a meeting of defense ministers from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) in Honolulu, Hawaii, April 3, 2014.
U.S. Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel speaks during the closing news conference at a meeting of defense ministers from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) in Honolulu, Hawaii, April 3, 2014.
The head of the U.S. Defense Department says Washington plans to send two more missile defense warships to Japan to counter the threat posed by North Korea's actions.

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel told a news conference in Tokyo Sunday after meeting with his Japanese counterpart, Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera, that two AEGIS missile defense ships will be sent to Japan by 2017, bolstering the U.S. missile defense force to seven ships.

On his second day in Japan, Hagel announced that the United States will increase military support to its Asian ally.

Hagel said, "In response to Pyongyang's pattern of provocative and destabilizing actions, including recent missile launches and violations of recent U.N. security council resolutions, I can announce today that the United States is planning to forward deploy two additional Aegis ballistic missile defense ships to Japan by 2017."

During the most recent flare-up of Korean tensions in late March, North Korea fired shells over South Korean waters close to the North's western coast. South Korea responded and the two countries exchanged hundreds of live shells in just a few hours.

Pyongyang provocations

Recent provocations by North Korea also included the firing of a mid-range missile capable of hitting Japan.

Hagel said, "For the safety of Japan and of eastern Asia, we believe that Japan's Aegis system and the United States' Aegis system is very effective. As the secretary said, that two new ships that are able to respond to ballistic missile threats will be deployed to Japan, this is very important for the region."

Hagel also spoke about China, a country he will visit after leaving Japan.

Relations between China and Japan have hit a low point because of a territorial dispute over islets in resource-rich waters of the East China Sea.

While the U.S. has not sided with any country on the islands' ownership, it acknowledges Japan's de facto management and is treaty-bound to protect Tokyo in case of aggression.

On Sunday, Hagel drew a parallel with Russia's annexation of Crimea, saying, "You cannot go around the world and redefine boundaries and violate territorial integrity and sovereignty of nations by force, coercion and intimation whether it's in small islands in the Pacific or large nations in Europe."

What happened in Ukraine has some resonance in Asia, where China is embroiled in bitter disputes over its maritime boundaries to the East and South.

Concerns about China

Countries like the Philippines and Japan have raised concerns about Beijing's increasingly assertive stance in stating its territorial claims.

Hagel called China a great power, but said the country should respect its neighbors, be more transparent about its military power and refrain from coercion and intimidation.

"With this power, comes new and wider responsibilities is that how you use that power, how do you employ that military power," said Hagel. "And I want to talk with Chinese about all of that particularity transparency. This is a key dimension of relationships. "

The defense secretary will depart for Beijing on Monday.

Analysts in China say the territorial disputes are likely to come up during Hagel's visit, as are military cooperation and measures to deal with North Korea.

You May Like

Video In US, Columbus Day Still Generates Controversy

Holiday marks date Columbus discovered Americas, but some are offended by legacy because he enslaved many natives he encountered More

Video Through Sports, Austria Tries to Give Migrants Traction

With 85,000 people expected to claim asylum in Austria this year, its government has made integration through joint physical activities a key objective More

Video Kickboxing Champion Shares Sport With Young Migrants

Pouring into Europe by hundreds of thousands, some migrants, especially youngsters, are finding sports a way to integrate into new host countries More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Amnesty Accuses Saudi Coalition of ‘War Crimes’ in Yemeni
Henry Ridgwell
October 12, 2015 4:03 PM
The human rights group Amnesty International has accused the Saudi-led coalition of war crimes in airstrikes against Houthi rebels in Yemen. Henry Ridgwell reports the group says hundreds of civilians have been killed in strikes on residential areas.

Video Amnesty Accuses Saudi Coalition of ‘War Crimes’ in Yemen

The human rights group Amnesty International has accused the Saudi-led coalition of war crimes in airstrikes against Houthi rebels in Yemen. Henry Ridgwell reports the group says hundreds of civilians have been killed in strikes on residential areas.

Video No Resolution in Sight to US House Speaker Drama

Uncertainty grips the U.S. Congress, where no consensus replacement has emerged to succeed Republican House Speaker John Boehner after his surprise resignation announcement. Half of Congress is effectively leaderless weeks before America risks defaulting on its national debt and enduring another partial government shutdown.

Video New Art Exhibit Focuses on Hope

Out of struggle and despair often comes hope. That idea is behind a new art exhibit at the American Visionary Art Museum in Baltimore, Maryland. "The Big Hope Show" features 25 artists, some of whom overcame trauma and loss. VOA’s Deborah Block reports.

Video Columbus Day Still Generates Controversy as US Holiday

The second Monday of October is Columbus Day in the United States, honoring explorer Christopher Columbus and his discovery of the Americas. The achievement is a source of pride for many, but for some the holiday is marked by controversy. Adrianna Zhang has more.

Video Anger Simmers as Turks Begin to Bury Blast Victims

The Turkish army carried out new air strikes on Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) targets on Sunday, a day after the banned group announced a unilateral cease fire. The air raids apparently are in retaliation for the Saturday bombing in Turkey's capital Ankara that killed at least 95 people and wounded more than 200 others. But as Zlatica Hoke reports, there are suspicions that Islamic State is involved.

Video Bombings a Sign of Turkey’s Deep Troubles

Turkey has begun a three-day period of mourning following Saturday’s bomb attacks in the capital, Ankara, that killed nearly 100 people. With contentious parliamentary elections three weeks away, the attacks highlight the challenges Turkey is facing as it struggles with ethnic friction, an ongoing migrant crisis, and growing tensions with Russia. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.

Video Afghanistan’s Progress Aided by US Academic Center

Recent combat in Afghanistan has shifted world attention back to the central Asian nation’s continuing civil war and economic challenges. But, while there are many vexing problems facing Afghanistan’s government and people, a group of academics in Omaha, Nebraska has kept a strong faith in the nation’s future through programs to improve education. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from Omaha, Nebraska.

Video House Republicans in Chaos as Speaker Favorite Withdraws

The Republican widely expected to become the next speaker of the House of Representatives shocked his colleagues Thursday by announcing he was withdrawing his candidacy. The decision by Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy means the race to succeed retiring Speaker John Boehner is now wide open. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone reports.

Video German, US Officials Investigate Volkswagen

German officials have taken steps to restore some of the reputation their car industry has lost after a recent Volkswagen diesel emissions scandal. Authorities have searched Volkswagen headquarters and other locations in an effort to identify the culprits in the creation of software that helps cheat on emission tests. Meanwhile, a group of lawmakers in Washington held a hearing to get to the bottom of the cheating strategy that was first discovered in the United States. Zlatica Hoke reports.

Video Why Are Gun Laws So Hard for Congress to Tackle?

Since taking office, President Barack Obama has spoken out or issued statements about 15 mass shootings. The most recent shooting, in which 10 people were killed at a community college, sparked outrage over the nation's gun laws. But changing those laws isn't as easy as many think. VOA's Carolyn Presutti reports.

Video In 'He Named Me Malala,' Guggenheim Finds Normal in Extraordinary

Davis Guggenheim’s documentary "He Named Me Malala" offers a probing look into the life of 18-year-old Malala Yousafsai, the Pakistani teenager who, in 2012, was shot in the head by the Taliban for standing up for her right to education in her hometown in Pakistan's Swat Valley. Guggenheim shows how, since then, Malala has become a symbol not as a victim of brutal violence, but as an advocate for girls’ education throughout the world. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.

Video Paintable Solar Cells May Someday Replace Silicon-Based Panels

Solar panels today are still factory-manufactured, with the use of some highly toxic substances such as cadmium chloride. But a researcher at St. Mary’s College, Maryland, says we are close to being able to create solar panels by painting them on a suitable surface, using nontoxic solutions. VOA’s George Putic reports.

VOA Blogs