Japan's foreign minister promises stronger military to help U.S.

Hayashi visits American aircraft carrier in waters south of Tokyo

Nikkei -- Apr 24
Japan's foreign minister promised his country would bolster its military to help the United States maintain regional security during a visit on Saturday to a U.S. aircraft carrier patrolling Asian waters.

"Today I was able to experience first hand the frontline of national security," Yoshimasa Hayashi told reporters in the hangar deck of the USS Abraham Lincoln sailing in waters south of Tokyo. Japan will "significantly strengthen" its defence capabilities and work closely with the United States, he added.

Hayashi spoke amid concern in Japan that Russia's invasion of Ukraine, which it sees as an affront to international diplomatic norms, could encourage neighbouring China to use military muscle to win control of Taiwan and threaten nearby Japanese islands.

Japan has also expressed concern about Beijing's deepening security ties with Moscow, that have included joint drills in waters surrounding Japan.

China has said its intentions in Asia are peaceful.