Top Japan, U.S. diplomats affirm need for peace across Taiwan Strait

Japan’s new Foreign Minister Yoko Kamikawa on Monday agreed on the necessity of stability across the Taiwan Strait with U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken during their first in-person talks, the government said.

On the sidelines of an annual session of the U.N. General Assembly in New York, Kamikawa and Blinken also reaffirmed the significance of the Japan-U.S. alliance during a time when China’s military assertiveness is intensifying in the Asia-Pacific region.

At the meeting, Kamikawa, who last week became Japan’s first female foreign minister in around two decades, told Blinken that she would like to have candid discussions about the challenges facing Tokyo and Washington.

Blinken said the partnership between the two countries is stronger and more important than ever before.

Kamikawa and Blinken also agreed that Japan and the United States will deepen bilateral and trilateral cooperation with South Korea to tackle missile and nuclear threats from the North. Pyongyang has recently carried out a spate of ballistic missile launches.

Ahead of her talks with Blinken, Kamikawa, who succeeded Yoshimasa Hayashi in a Cabinet reshuffle on Wednesday, met in New York with her British counterpart James Cleverly and Brazilian Foreign Minister Mauro Vieira.

In their first phone talks on Thursday following the Cabinet shakeup, Kamikawa told Blinken that Japan, which holds this year’s Group of Seven presidency, will “fulfill its role” in upholding and strengthening a free and open international order based on the rule of law.

BY Perviz Iqbal