U.S., Japan must boost deterrence as China learns lessons from Russia


By Bill Hagerty, Ben Cardin and John Cornyn, KYODO NEWS – 13 hours ago – 19:26 | All, World, Japan

We recently led the first Congressional delegation to Japan since the pandemic began and met with Prime Minister Fumio Kishida and senior officials, former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and other influential parliamentarians, as well as titans of the Japanese industry.

We see opportunities for President Biden to advance U.S. interests when he travels to Tokyo later this month for bilateral meetings with the Kishida government and multilateral meetings with our Quad partners from Japan, India and Australia.

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Bill Hagerty. (Kyodo)

First, the United States should warmly welcome Japan’s proactive leadership in response to international crises and encourage our important ally to do even more.

After Russia’s unprovoked and unwarranted invasion of Ukraine, Tokyo joined in the imposition of tough multilateral sanctions against Vladimir Putin’s war machine. It is essential that Washington ensures that Japan – as a leading economic and financial power – always has a place at the negotiating table on international issues.

In April, Yoshimasa Hayashi became the first Japanese foreign minister to attend a NATO ministerial meeting when he visited Brussels. The United States should explore opportunities for Japan and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to further expand high-level diplomatic interactions and information sharing.

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Second, we need to further increase planning coordination as Japan seeks to significantly strengthen its defense.

Japan is revising its national security and national defense strategies. At the same time, Tokyo is seeing growing support from the Japanese people to increase defense spending to 2% of gross domestic product.

Washington should encourage Tokyo to use increased spending to build – as quickly as possible – new mobile, lethal and interoperable defense capabilities. Japan also needs to significantly improve intelligence, information-sharing and cybersecurity capabilities, and expand joint training exercises with US and partner forces.

Our nations must act urgently to strengthen defense and deterrence, as China, with its eyes on Taiwan, is surely learning lessons from the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Third, we must elevate engagement with Japan and the Quad on energy security.

After Putin’s invasion of Ukraine, Japan joined other nations in reassessing the use of Russian energy sources. However, decreasing reliance on Russian energy will be most effective when nations have reliable access to cost-effective alternatives.

The United States and Japan – as the world’s third largest and third largest economies – will benefit from candid conversations about energy security. The Quad must also engage on this critical topic given that India is the largest democracy in the world and has the opportunity to reduce its energy and military dependence on Russia, and that Australia is a major energy exporter.

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The Quad already has high-level working groups on COVID-19 vaccines, infrastructure, critical and emerging technologies, space, cybersecurity and environmental issues. Adding one on energy security makes strategic sense. Indeed, energy security is inextricably linked to economic security and national security.

Fourth, Quad members must ensure that their technology sectors continue to partner and generate reliable alternatives in 5G, artificial intelligence and other strategic technologies.

In recent years, the United States and Japan have coordinated closely to counter Huawei – and other heavily subsidized “national champion” Chinese companies that pose national security and espionage risks – and to eliminate them from 5G markets. of our respective economies.

This strategy has prevented Huawei and other Chinese Communist Party-led telecoms from achieving global scale and dominating international markets. It has also created openings for companies in the United States, Japan and partner countries to seek reliable 5G alternatives and supply chains, including software-defined networks and open radio architecture network approaches. .

As technology competition with China intensifies, it is imperative that the U.S.-Japan alliance and the Quad increase coordination and innovation in response.

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Fifth, the United States must further advance its economic leadership in the Indo-Pacific.

The region is eager to see how Washington will carry out its proposed Indo-Pacific economic framework. This is a positive step in the right direction towards a comprehensive free trade agreement in the region, but it needs congressional approval and provisions to increase market access.

We could take the IPEF provisions on data and turn it into a stand-alone, sector-specific free trade agreement. The 2019 U.S.-Japan Digital Trade Agreement — the most comprehensive and demanding agreement on digital trade barriers — is a good place to start.

The Biden administration should consult Congress early and often on a regional trade agenda. Congress will have to renew the Trade Promotion Authority if it pursues significant new FTAs.

While Washington may not agree on much at this time, our bipartisan group strongly agrees on the growing opportunities for strengthening the U.S.-Japan alliance and the Quad. We stand ready to work with President Biden to seize these opportunities.

(Bill Hagerty is a Republican U.S. Senator from Tennessee and former U.S. Ambassador to Japan. Ben Cardin is a Democratic U.S. Senator from Maryland, and John Cornyn is a Republican U.S. Senator from Texas.)

== Kyōdo

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