Japan, US moving to update existing mutual defense guidelines

“Since 1997, when the guidelines were last revised, the world has changed, the region has changed and Japan has changed,” said Daniel Russel, Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs. “We face serious ongoing threats.”

US and Japan are now working on to enhance their existing mutual defense guidelines for the first time after a decade. China’s military expansion has gotten the attention of Japan and US.

The revised guidelines will incorporate some changes in Japan’s constitution that enable Japan to shoulder more responsibility for its own and regional defense.

Japan-US defense cooperation’s aim is “to create a solid basis for more effective and credible U.S.-Japan cooperation under normal circumstances, in case of an armed attack against Japan, and in situations in areas surrounding Japan.”

However, China has shown concern over US-Japan relationship. “It should not go beyond its bilateral scope. It should not hurt the interest of a third party such as China,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei said during a regular press briefing in Beijing.