søndag 11. april 2021

As tensions rise with China, Japan looks to allies

Ahead of Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga’s three-day visit to Washington now scheduled for April 16, geopolitical tensions in Asia are reaching a fever pitch. Both the US and China have deployed aircraft carriers to the Western Pacific for cross-sea drills amid a deepening naval stand-off between Manila and Beijing in the South China Sea. For its part, Japan deployed its own destroyer to monitor China’s activities in the East China Sea.

A key US ally and longtime economic powerhouse, Japan is fast becoming a new fulcrum of Asian geopolitics. Alarmed by Beijing’s rising assertiveness, the northeast Asian power is flexing its naval muscles in adjacent waters and mobilizing a robust global alliance to keep China’s ambitions in check.

During his visit to Washington, Suga is expected to coordinate the establishment of a joint initiative to combat China’s growing economic influence in the region. The Japanese leader is also pushing for expanded security cooperation with like-minded Indo-Pacific powers, from the US and India to Australia and Germany.