The former (a member of the G7) has invited the latter as a guest at this weekend’s summit.The event comes after two historic summits Between Kishida and South Korean President Yoon Hee-yeolthe two leaders visited each other’s capitals for talks over sake and beer.
This is a big deal. It was their first official meeting in more than a decade, beginning the painful process of resolving the 1910-45 Japanese colonial occupation of Korea.
President Joe Biden called it a “groundbreaking new chapter” at the White House in March.Without naming China, he described the enhanced partnership as a “free and open” partnership Democracy Against Authoritarianism – the central theme of his government.
During the trilateral meeting at the G7 summit, Biden invited Yoon and Kishida to hold another meeting in Washington, a senior U.S. official said. In a statement following the talks, the White House said the leaders “discussed how to take trilateral cooperation to new heights,” including new coordination in the face of North Korea’s “illegal nuclear and missile threats.”
Japan announced at the end of last year its military spending will double to 2% of its gross domestic product – A historic departure from its so-called “pacifist” constitution. Its decision to deploy Patriot missile sites on islands close to Taiwan angered Beijing. Japan’s ambassador to the United States, Koji Tomita, said last week that it was even considering opening a NATO liaison office, a small but symbolic gesture of Western solidarity.
In South Korea, the growing threat of North Korea’s nuclear arsenal means more than 70% now favor developing its own nuclear weapons, A poll last year by the Chicago Council on Global Affairs found that.
This prompted Washington to declare Signed a new defense agreement with the Seoul governmentincluding sending the United States nuclear-capable submarines to the country — as long as it reiterates its commitment not to try to acquire its own nuclear weapons.
South Korea relies heavily on China for trade, so it has historically been cautious in its approach to its giant neighbor. But relations between the two countries have slipped recently, especially after South Korean President Yoon Eun-hye suggested China was trying to “change the status quo in Taiwan by force”. That sparked a tit-for-tat summoning of the ambassador, with China’s foreign ministry calling the comments “wrong” and “totally unacceptable”.
Simon Chelton, a former British defense attaché in Tokyo, said it was wrong to attribute the developments solely to concerns about China, North Korea’s missile tests or US push – but a more complex combination of the three Years or even decades in the making.
“The reason Japan is spending more now is not a knee-jerk reaction to what Biden is saying, nor is it a whim,” said Chilton, now an associate research fellow at the Royal United Services Institute, a think tank in London. Incremental accumulation many years ago. Everything in Japan is gradual.”
China sees the moves as just an excuse for Japan and South Korea to follow the U.S. line of containing Beijing. Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin said at a briefing last week that the three were using North Korea as an excuse to step up military cooperation. He accused U.S. allies of increasing the risk of “confrontation between blocs in the region” and undermining “already fragile mutual trust” between them and Beijing.
Xinhua, the official news agency, wrote that day that “the United States has long tried to form an anti-China coterie,” calling the alliance “a conspiracy.”
Many experts believe China is partly responsible for strengthening the trio — and for good reason.
“China’s military modernization over the past two decades, which has involved double-digit annual increases in military spending, combined with greater assertiveness in China’s disputed territorial claims, has led to feelings of concern about Beijing’s hegemonic ambitions,” said Temple University’s Kingston. disturbed.”
The unease has produced an unlikely amicable relationship that not only upends yesterday’s bitter rivalry, but could shape today’s geopolitical status quo — starting this weekend.
NBC News World News