U.S. and Japan Ink New Cooperation Rules Amid Tension with China
Posted: 01/17/2013 12:00:00 AM EST | 0
For the first time in 15 years, U.S. Defense officials began talks on Thursday, January 17, with their Japanese counterparts on strategic cooperation amid mounting tensions with China.
The aim is to review the guidelines on cooperation and will also address concerns over North Korea's nuclear and missile capabilities.
The new guidelines will shape exactly how America and Japan can work together in Japanese territory.
A Defense Ministry spokesman said: "We would like to discuss Japanese Self Defense Forces' role and U.S. forces role with eyes on the next five, 10, 15 years and on the security environment during those periods."
The talks come after China's recent bitter dispute with Japan over a group of small islands in the East China Sea.
Both countries have scrambled jet fighters to the area in the last week and both have deployed patrol ships, Reuters reports.
North Korea, meanwhile, has tested its nuclear capabilities on two occasions in recent weeks.
No specific details of the proposed new guidelines have been released and it may be a year before the revised plan is completed.
The official China Daily newspaper, meanwhile, reported on Thursday that it wants to schedule talks with Japan in a bid to ease the tensions.
The Associated Press reports that Jia Qinglin, the chief of China's top political advisory body, made the call for dialog at a meeting with former Japanese Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama.
Jia said: "The two sides should appropriately handle questions surrounding the Diaoyu islands and other issues on which their stances' differ."
While the Chinese refer to the islands as Diaoyu, they are known as Senkaku in Japan.
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