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"China will surpass us and the United States needs Japan's military industry" - US Ambassador to Japan Rahm Emanuel

Ambassador Emanuel recently stated that, due to the need to simultaneously address strategic needs in Europe and the Middle East and pressure from China, the US defense industry is currently overwhelmed and urgently needs the help of its ally Japan

From June 9 to 10, LaPlante, US Under Secretary of Defense for Arms Procurement, and Masaki Fukasawa, director of the Japan Defense Equipment Agency, held talks on "United States-Japan Defense Industry Cooperation ".

The first talks were initiated in the framework of the Regular Consultation Forum on Acquisition and Maintenance (DICAS), with the aim of deepening defense industry cooperation between the two countries.

On June 10, local time, Emanuel spoke to the media after the first meeting of the forum. (Photo of Emanuel's social account)

On June 11, the United States and Japan will continue to focus on discussing issues related to the maintenance of the US Navy in Japan. This is expected to help US shipyards free up production capacity to build more warships.

In this regard, Rahm Emanuel spoke to the media after the first meeting of the forum on the 10th and mentioned without hiding the "Chinese threat theory".

He said: "China has strong production capacity, especially in building new ships. We all know that China will surpass us. But we are busy repairing ships every day, which will prevent us from building new ships."

Emanuel added: “If right now you can have an ally helping you (repair and maintenance), then it means you can focus on the most important things, building new equipment to maintain the same competitive relationship with China.”

Emanuel mentioned other potential cooperation between Japan and the United States, including aircraft maintenance, missile production and military supply chain restoration. He said the U.S. defense industry can no longer cope with all the strategic challenges and obligations it faces alone, so it needs to rethink how to do this.

Emanuel said: “The US national security strategy requires us to be able to deal with 1.5 theaters at once, one of which is a major war, and the remaining half is the confrontational situation that we face. While we pay attention. Even in the Middle East and Ukraine we must maintain credible deterrence in East Asia, in fact, we are already in a state of response on two fronts."

For example, Emanuel said that since the outbreak of the war in Ukraine, the inventory of key weapons such as anti-tank shells in the United States has decreased significantly and that it will take the Pentagon 18 months to two years to fully restore the stockpile.

Therefore, he believes that the help of Japanese industry is the key to solving many of the above problems.

However, in response to the US ambassador's remarks, Japanese scholar and University of Tokyo professor Misato Matsuoka reminded that, although the United States considers Japan a key factor in easing tension in the national defense industry, due of the weakness of the Japanese military industry, this will lead to Japan becoming a subcontractor.

In April, Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida and U.S. President Joe Biden jointly established the DICAS Forum to identify priority areas for U.S. and Japanese industrial cooperation, including coordinating joint missile development and production and supporting joint with forward deployments at Japanese commercial facilities U.S. Navy ships and U.S. Air Force aircraft. The White House has previously said that Japan's defense capabilities are crucial to continuing to strengthen US extended deterrence, and the two sides will further strengthen cooperation to this end.

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