The defense chiefs of Japan and the United States on Wednesday agreed to align the two countries' security strategies and strengthen cooperation to deter any attempt to change the status quo by force in the Indo-Pacific amid China's growing assertiveness.

The meeting at the Pentagon took place as Japan plans to update its National Security Strategy by the end of this year, with Russia's war against Ukraine generating a fresh drive in Tokyo toward beefing up its defense and deterrence capabilities.

At the outset of the talks, Defense Minister Nobuo Kishi said Russia's attack on its neighbor is "a serious challenge to the international order" and that "such unilateral change to the status quo by force is a concern in the Indo-Pacific region as well."