Israel and Japan sign new defense agreement
By Jordyn Haime
Israel and Japan on Tuesday signed a defense agreement allowing for greater cooperation on military equipment and technology, a sign of closeness as they mark the 70th anniversary of diplomatic relations this year.
Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz’ trip to Japan comes at the end of a visit to the United States, where he discussed Iran’s nuclear program and other security issues with senior officials, and as Japan faces heightened tensions in the Pacific after Nancy Pelosi’s August visit to Taiwan, a self-governing democracy Beijing claims as its own. Since Pelosi’s visit, China has stepped up military exercises around Taiwan and launched missiles into waters near Japan, worrying regional officials that China may continue behavior that threatens the status quo and stability of the region.
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Japan on Wednesday announced plans to increase its defense budget and develop longer-range missiles to counter threats from China and Russia.
The deal, officially an extension of an earlier defense agreement signed with Israel in 2019, helps Japan achieve its goal of achieving a “free and open Indo-Pacific”, Defense Minister Yasukazu Hamada said, according to the Associated Press. Gantz said the new agreement “will strengthen each country’s defense capability as well as our common contribution to peace and stability in our regions and around the world.”