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Envoy Says US Needs Japan to Support American Defense Industrial Base Amid Conflicts in Ukraine, Middle East

Home Asia Envoy Says US Needs Japan to Support American Defense Industrial Base Amid Conflicts in Ukraine, Middle East
Envoy Says US Needs Japan to Support American Defense Industrial Base Amid Conflicts in Ukraine, Middle East

The United States needs Japan to help replenish its missile supply and repair its warships in order to deter potential conflicts in the Indo-Pacific.

On Sunday, William LaPlante, U.S. undersecretary of defense for acquisition and sustainment, spoke with his Japanese counterpart, Masaki Fukasawa, to discuss strengthening military industrial cooperation between the two nations. The two officials agreed to establish working groups to oversee production of missiles and creating a stronger supply chain.

According to the Japanese Defense Ministry, there will also be a group responsible for maintenance and repair of U.S. Navy ships and Air Force aircraft in East Asia.

Rahm Emanuel, U.S. ambassador to Japan who is involved in the discussions, said Monday that amidst conflicts in Ukraine and the Middle East, the American defense industrial base “cannot meet all the strategic challenges” and obligations it has.

Emanuel also warned that China is on track to surpass the U.S. in shipbuilding capacity. The agreement with Japan to repair American ships can free up American shipyards to bolster their capacity to build new vessels.

Tokyo has been beefing up its military as the Chinese threat in the Indo-Pacific grows.

In late 2023, the East Asian nation approved a $56 billion budget for defense and plans to spend $300 billion through 2027 to bolster its military power.

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