Analyst: Japan-US relations 'never stronger'

Japanese Prime Minister Kishida Fumio will visit the White House on Friday for the first time since taking office. He and US President Joe Biden have been working to "modernize" the alliance.

Christopher Johnstone, the former East Asia director at the National Security Council, told NHK that the two countries are experiencing an unprecedented level of trust.

Johnstone, who is currently the Japan Chair at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, said he can "never remember a time of such alignment" in their perspectives on key strategic issues and commitment to work together to address common challenges.

He welcomed Japan's new security strategy, saying the increased investment in defense and the adoption of counterstrike capabilities will serve as a deterrent.

Johnstone said, "One of the best ways to deter the possibility of aggression is to demonstrate how closely the United States and Japan and other allies can work together and the strength of the capabilities that our militaries, our defense forces, have together."

Speaking of China, Johnstone said the modernization of its military has been "dramatic." He added, however, that the progression of the US-Japan alliance will send a "very powerful signal."