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

Could Nemtsov Threaten Putin in Death as in Life?

Dynamic and debonair opposition leader had supported liberal economic reforms, criticized Russian president's aggression in Ukraine More

Oil Smuggling Highlights Challenges in Shutting Down IS Finances

Pentagon spokesman says Islamic State 'certainly continues to get revenue from the oil industry black market' but that airstrikes have made a dent More

India Focuses on Infrastructure, Investment to Propel Economy

Government expects economy to grow at 8 to 8.5 percent in next fiscal year More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
US Supreme Court Hears Hijab Discrimination Casei
X
Katherine Gypson
February 25, 2015 11:30 PM
The U.S. Supreme Court has heard opening arguments in a workplace religious discrimination case that examines whether a clothing store can refuse to hire a young woman for wearing the headscarf she says is a symbol of her Muslim faith. Katherine Gypson reports from the Supreme Court.
Video

Video US Supreme Court Hears Hijab Discrimination Case

The U.S. Supreme Court has heard opening arguments in a workplace religious discrimination case that examines whether a clothing store can refuse to hire a young woman for wearing the headscarf she says is a symbol of her Muslim faith. Katherine Gypson reports from the Supreme Court.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Hurt Nascent Illinois Hydraulic Fracturing Industry

Falling oil prices are helping consumers purchase cheaper petroleum at the pump. But that’s made hydraulic fracturing or “fracking” less economically viable for the companies in the United States invested in the process. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports on one Midwestern town that was hoping to change its fortunes by cashing in on the next big U.S. oil boom.
Video

Video Fighting in Sudan's South Kordofan Fuels Mass Displacement

Heavy fighting in Sudan's South Kordofan state is causing hundreds of thousands to flee into uncertain conditions. Local aid organizations estimate as many as 400,000 civilians have been internally displaced since the conflict began more than three years ago, while another 250,000 have fled across the border to refugee camps in South Sudan. VOA's Adam Bailes reports.
Video

Video Lao Dam Project Runs Into Opposition

A Lao dam project on a section of the Mekong River is drawing opposition from local fishermen, international environmental groups and neighboring countries. VOA's Say Mony visited the region to investigate the concerns. Colin Lovett narrates.
Video

Video A Filmmaker Discovers Her Biracial Identity in "Little White Lie

Lacey Schwartz grew up in an upper middle-class Jewish family, in a town in upstate New York where almost everyone she knew was white. She assumed that she was, as well. Her recent documentary, Little White Lie, tells the story of how she uncovered the secret of her true racial background. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more on the film.
Video

Video Deep Under Antarctic Ice Sheet, Life!

With the end of summer in the Southern hemisphere, the Antarctic research season is over. Scientists from Northern Illinois University are back in their laboratory after a 3-month expedition on the Ross Ice Shelf, the world’s largest floating ice sheet. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, they hope to find clues to explain the dynamics of the rapidly melting ice and its impact on sea level rise.
Video

Video US-Cuba Normalization Talks Resume Friday

Negotiations aimed at normalizing diplomatic relations between the U.S. and Cuba resume Friday. On the table: lifting a half-century trade embargo and easing banking and travel restrictions. There's opposition in Congress, but some analysts say there may be sufficient political and economic incentives in both nations for a potential breakthrough this year. VOA's Mil Arcega reports.
Video

Video Pakistan's Deadline For SIM Registration Has Cellphone Users Scrambling

Pakistani cell phone users have until midnight Thursday to register their SIM cards, or their service will be cut off. While some privacy experts worry about government intrusion, many Pakistanis are just worried about keeping their phone lines open. VOA Deewa reporter Arshad Muhmand has more from Peshawar.
Video

Video Myanmar Warns Factory Workers to End Strikes

Outside Myanmar's main city Yangon, thousands of workers walked off their jobs earlier this month demanding a doubling of their wages, pay raises after a year and input from labor unions on industrial regulations. Since Friday, the standoff has grown more tense as police moved in to disrupt the sit-ins, resulting in clashes that injured people from both sides. VOA correspondent Steve Herman visited industrial zones which have become a focus of Myanmar's fledgling workers rights movement.
Video

Video Oscar Winners Do More Than Thank the Academy

The Academy Awards presentation is Hollywood’s night to reward the best movies from the previous year. It’s typically a lot of glitter, a lot of thank you’s, a lot of speeches. But many of this year’s speeches carried messages beyond the thank you's. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti takes a look.

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More