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Japanese PM Meets With US Regional Military Command

Adm. Philip Davidson, left, commander of the U.S. Indo-Pacific Command, talks with Japan's Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga during a meeting as he pays a courtesy call at the prime minister's office, Oct. 22, 2020, in Tokyo.

Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga ended his week of regional diplomatic visits Thursday with a meeting with the commander of the U.S. Indo-Pacific Command in Tokyo.

Suga exchanged a COVID-19-friendly fist-bump with Cmdr. Phil Davidson, as the two extended greetings with reporters before their talks began. Each expressed their gratitude for the partnership and cooperation in maintaining peace and security in the region.

The U.S. Indo-Pacific Command is the largest, in terms of geography covered, of the six U.S. military commands around the globe. The command integrates all branches of the U.S. military to maintain security, and it protects U.S. interests in the region while coordinating with allies.

The meeting follows bilateral talks the new Japanese prime minister held earlier this week with his counterparts in Vietnam and Indonesia. The central theme of those meetings was cooperation in regional defense as a hedge against China’s ambitions in the region. Suga made agreements with both nations to export defense technology and equipment.

It was the first overseas diplomatic trip for Suga since becoming prime minister last month. He took the position after former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe stepped down for health reasons.