The United States and Japan are already close military allies, but those ties could become even tighter in coming years as the two nations explore more opportunities to cooperate on defense research and development.
Both countries, along with Australia and India, are part of the group of nations known as the Quad, which are moving to enhance technology collaboration.
The United States has long been the top international weapons seller to Japan, providing a whopping 97 percent of the island nation’s defense equipment imports from 2016-2020, according to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute’s latest annual report on trends in international arms transfers.
“Japan’s arms imports will probably continue to rise based on new orders for arms from the USA,” the report said.
Additionally, U.S. and Japanese military forces hold frequent joint exercises, and Uncle Sam has more than 50,000 troops stationed in the land of the rising sun.
“In Tokyo’s case, the U.S.-Japan bilateral defense relationship is the most important one for Japanese defense,” said Jacob Stokes, a fellow with the Indo-Pacific security program at the Center for a New American Security think tank.
Concerns about China’s military modernization and regional assertiveness are the primary factor driving Japanese threat perceptions, force planning and defense investments, he noted.
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