The United States and Japan are close to concluding a set of bilateral defense rules that if finalized would give Japan’s military new powers to act when U.S. forces are threatened by a third country, U.S. officials said Wednesday.
Defense Secretary Ashton Carter, speaking during a visit to Tokyo, said the revision of the “defense guidelines” would transform U.S. military ties with Japan, which is grappling with a missile threat from North Korea and China’s moves to assert control of areas off its coast.
Under a previous bilateral arrangement, Japanese forces could protect the U.S. military only if it was operating in Japan’s direct defense in areas close to the country. U.S. officials say the new rules, once given final approval, would broaden the geographic scope and, significantly, allow Japan to respond to an attack on the U.S. military even if the American forces are not acting in defense of Japan at the time.
Read the full article at The Washington Post.