US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Japanese Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi have agreed to step up cooperation to deal with China and promised to further strengthen their alliance to realize a free and open Indo-Pacific.
The talks between the two leaders took place on Monday in London before the G7 foreign ministers' meeting, Kyodo News reported.
Blinken and Motegi said that both the countries will oppose any unilateral attempts by China to change the status quo by force in the East and South China seas.
"Motegi and Blinken also discussed China. They agreed to oppose any unilateral attempts to change the status quo in the East China and South China seas. They also shared concerns about the human rights situation in the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region. They also agreed on the importance of peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait," said the NHK World in its report, citing the Japanese Foreign Ministry.
The two leaders also discussed Myanmar and North Korea. Surprisingly, in the US version of the meeting's readout, there was no mention of China in the State Department press release.
Last Friday, top officers from Japan's Self-Defence Forces and the US military agreed to stand firm against any attempts to change the status quo in the East China Sea. Koji Yamazaki, the chief of Japan's Self-Defense Forces' Joint Staff, who had met in Hawaii, discussed the situation in the Indo-Pacific region amid China's growing military activity.
These recent bilateral talks come in the backdrop of the first in-person meeting between US President Joe Biden and Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga.
Affirming his "ironclad" support for the US-Japanese alliance, President Biden last month had said that both the countries are committed to working together to take on the challenges posed by China to ensure the future of free and open Indo-Pacific.
( With inputs from ANI )
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