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«Free and Open Indo-Pacific»: Focus on Japan and the US, key regional powers facing China – Update as of 23/06/2024

The files we follow: China in the Indo-Pacific; Chinese Defence and Taiwan Strait; China and the Middle East; Chinese economic strategies and tendencies; Dynamics and challenges of Chinese international tourism…

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Japan, along with regional allies to establish a military balance in the face of China’s worrying rising power. Concerns also extend to the threats posed by North Korea’s nuclear and missile programs, and Russia’s annexation of Ukraine. Japan has recently redefined its defense policy, seeking to strengthen and modernize its defense industry while promoting cooperation in equipment and technology. This new defense strategy emphasizes deterrence, counter-attack capabilities, and a greater offensive posture.

Several diplomatic defense summits shaped the geopolitical landscape in the Indopacific between April and June 2024.

Starting with April 10, the Japanese Prime Minister and the US President announced a new era of strategic cooperation with the “Global Partners for the Future” statement. Priorities for this cooperation included defense, space, technology, economic security, climate, diplomatic partnerships and cultural ties. Development of defense cooperation has been strengthened by reforms to the Japanese-American alliance commands, the acquisition of Tomahawk missiles and the development of the Glide Phase Interceptor, a hypersonic missile interceptor. Trilateral and multilateral projects were planned, including joint exercises with South Korea, the UK and Australia, as well as participation in AUKUS Pillar II – aimed at strengthening cooperation in the field of security and defense.

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