U.S., Japan reach agreement to enhance military alliance

Oct. 3, 2013 at 7:01 AM
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TOKYO, Oct. 3 (UPI) -- U.S. and Japanese diplomatic and military officials announced an agreement Thursday to broaden the countries' military alliance.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel met with their Japanese counterparts to arrange the alliance, which signals the United States' increased diplomatic focus on Asia, The New York Times reported.

"Our bilateral defense cooperation, including America's commitment to the security of Japan, is a critical component of our overall relationship," Hagel said, "and to the Obama administration's rebalance to Asia-Pacific."

As part of the agreement, a new missile defense radar system would be added in Japan to counter threats from North Korea and the two countries would cooperate to combat cyberthreats, the Times reported.

The deal comes as Japan makes efforts to increase its military capabilities and revise its pacifist constitution, which was written after World War II.

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