The nominee for U.S. ambassador to Japan, Kenneth Weinstein, said Wednesday that Washington will ask Tokyo to assume a larger role in its alliance in order to counter China’s growing influence in the region.

This will include pressure for Japan to increase its defense capabilities, Weinstein told the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, adding that he would encourage Japan to push forward to complete the relocation of Marine Corps Air Station Futenma in Okinawa Prefecture to a location within the main island off Nago, which is now decades behind schedule.

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