In a joint news conference in Tokyo, Japanese Prime Minister FYMIO KISHIDA said on Thursday that the United States and Japan will not allow attempts to disrupt the status quo anywhere by force. Kishida cited the situation in Ukraine and the South China Sea as examples of how these two countries will not allow such a change to occur. He added that Japan will continue to support Ukraine and will continue to step up sanctions against Russia, including through its partnership with Germany.

The recent Russian invasion of Ukraine is a particularly serious issue, as it is threatening the very foundations of international order. The strong Japanese reaction to this alleged rape should prompt policymakers in Washington to reconsider the U.S.-Japan security relationship. Abe has a very tough job ahead of him. He must show more leadership and resolve if he hopes to improve the alliance’s strategic relationship with Japan.

Meanwhile, the US Secretary of State Antony Blinken met with the head of Japan’s National Security Secretariat, Akiba Takeo, to discuss the prospects of tougher sanctions against Russia and how to counter unilateral attempts to change the status quo anywhere in the Asia-Pacific region. The two countries are expected to approve the decisions on Tuesday evening. However, the US-Japan relationship is still delicate.

Japanese military law prohibited serving officers from accepting political offices. Although the declaration of independence did not mention Hirohito, Secretary of State Joseph Grew argued that he should be retained as a constitutional monarch, ensuring a smooth and orderly capitulation of Japanese troops in the Pacific theatre. Another advocate of maintaining Hirohito’s central role was Navy Secretary James Forrestal.