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Japan, US coast guards to boost cooperation amid China's rise

Yoshio Seguchi, right, the Japan Coast Guard's vice commandant for operations, and Vice Adm. Michael McAllister, the U.S. Coast Guard's Pacific area commander, shake hands during a signing ceremony in Tokyo on May 18, 2022. (Kyodo)

TOKYO (Kyodo) -- The coast guards of Japan and the United States on Wednesday confirmed their cooperation in joint drills and information sharing at a time of China's increasing clout in the Indo-Pacific region.

    Signed by both the Japan Coast Guard and the U.S. Coast Guard was an annex to a memorandum of understanding on cooperation sealed in 2010 that calls for strengthening ties in such areas as training and academics.

    Under the latest arrangement, the coast guards of the two allies will hold joint drills in May and June in the United States, and support the capacity building of coast guards in Southeast Asian countries.

    The move comes as Japan and the United States advocate for a free and open Indo-Pacific region as China becomes increasingly assertive in its territorial claims in the East and South China seas.

    At the signing ceremony in Tokyo, Yoshio Seguchi, the Japan Coast Guard's vice commandant for operations, touted the annex as a "symbol of cooperation" between the two countries.

    Vice Adm. Michael McAllister, the U.S. Coast Guard's Pacific area commander, said the move further strengthens the U.S.-Japan alliance.

    The coast guards of the two countries have had exchanges since the Japanese organization was established in 1948.

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