Foreign Minister Yukihiko Ikeda declined July 31 to specify the geographical scope of “areas surrounding Japan” that, according to a new bilateral defense cooperation guideline, would require Japanese military support for U.S. forces in the event of war.

The deliberately undefined key phrase, considered by some to mean the Asia-Pacific region, appears in a preliminary report issued in June for the ongoing review of the 1978 Japan-U.S. defense cooperation guidelines. It is to be finalized in the fall. “We cannot specify the fringes of the region in advance, because of the nature of the issue,” Ikeda said in a speech at the Japan National Press Club.

Unable to view this article?

This could be due to a conflict with your ad-blocking or security software.

Please add japantimes.co.jp and piano.io to your list of allowed sites.

If this does not resolve the issue or you are unable to add the domains to your allowlist, please see out this support page.

We humbly apologize for the inconvenience.

In a time of both misinformation and too much information, quality journalism is more crucial than ever.
By subscribing, you can help us get the story right.