Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishid warned that China was seeking to change the status quo in the Asia-Pacific region with increased military activity, such as jet-fighter and bomber flights near Japan and Taiwan.
Mr. Kishida, speaking at the the Shangri-La Dialogue, an annual defense conference in Singapore said a rapid buildup of nuclear threats from North Korea and China meant Japan had to increase military spending, and instability in the region could tip into crisis.
I have strong concerns that East Asia could soon face the same situation as Ukraine, Mr. Kishida said.
Three Nations Resume Regular Military Drills
Japan, the United States and South Korea have agreed to resume joint military exercises last held in late 2017 in response to North Korea’s latest salvo of ballistic missile tests and concerns Pyongyang is gearing up for another nuclear test.
Nobuo Kishi, Lloyd Austin and Lee Jong-sup met June 11 on the sidelines of the Shangri-La Dialogue, a major annual security forum held here, to discuss the provocation from North Korea and other regional challenges.
The in-person meeting of the three top officials was the first such gathering since November 2019.
In a joint statement released afterward, the trio condemned North Korea’s weapons programs, which they said pose “a grave threat to international peace and stability.”
In response, they concurred that a resumption of trilateral warning and ballistic missile search and tracking exercises was warranted. They also pledged to “identify further trilateral actions,” according to the statement.
Joint training exercises involving the three countries were held six times from 2016 to 2017, when Pyongyang embarked on a flurry of missile launches.