Japan, US defense chiefs confirm measures to strengthen alliance

Japan's Defense Minister Kihara Minoru and US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin have confirmed measures to strengthen the two countries' alliance.

Kihara and Austin held talks for about 30 minutes in Singapore on Sunday.

They confirmed measures to step up the alliance's response and deterrence capabilities. These include improving the command and control of Japan's Self-Defense Forces and the US Forces to further facilitate their collaboration. The two officials also confirmed that Japan and the US will cooperate in the defense industry.

They shared the importance of expanding the two countries' presence in the region southwest of Japan, keeping in mind China's increased maritime activities.

They also confirmed a policy to advance cooperation with like-minded nations to realize a free and open Indo-Pacific.