Tokyo and Washington have agreed to enhance security coordination and beef up U.S. military capabilities in Japan’s southwestern islands near Taiwan following talks between the allies’ top diplomats and defense chiefs, setting the stage for a summit between the two countries’ leaders later this week.

Held only weeks after Tokyo unveiled a sweeping revamp of its defense and security policy, Wednesday’s “two-plus-two” meeting in Washington also saw the officials determine that an attack "to, from or within space" could trigger Article 5 of the allies’ mutual security pact.

Referring to China as posing the "greatest strategic challenge" in the Indo-Pacific region and beyond, Foreign Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi, Defense Minister Yasukazu Hamada and their U.S. counterparts, Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, vowed to reinforce the alliance’s deterrence and response capabilities.