FILE PHOTO: US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin speaks during a joint statement with Indian Minister of Defense Rajnath Singh (not shown) following their meeting in New Delhi, India March 20, 2021 . REUTERS / Adnan Abidi
TOKYO (Reuters) – Japanese and U.S. defense chiefs agreed at their meeting last week to cooperate closely in the event of a military clash between China and Taiwan, Kyodo News reported on Sunday, citing several government sources.
U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin raised the issue when he met with Japanese Defense Minister Nobuo Kishi on Tuesday, although there was no discussion of the details of how the two countries should coordinate responses to such an emergency, the outlet reported.
Japan has historically refrained from commenting on potential emergency situations in Taiwan in relation to China and its position remains to encourage dialogue for a peaceful solution to the tensions between the straits, Kyodo said.
Austin and US Secretary of State Antony Blinken met their counterparts in Tokyo last week on what was the first overseas visit by high-level members of President Joe Bidens’ cabinet.
In a joint statement released with Japan, Austin and Blinken said China’s behavior, when inconsistent with the existing international order, presents political, economic, military and technological challenges for the alliance and the community. international.
No immediate comment from the U.S. Embassy in Japan was available. Japanese Defense Ministry officials could not be reached for comment.
Reporting by Makiko Yamazaki; Editing by Sam Holmes
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