Trump marks US-Japan security pact with call for stronger, deeper alliance

The US-Japan treaty was first signed in 1951 and revised in 1960 under Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s grandfather. (File/AFP)
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Updated 19 January 2020

Trump marks US-Japan security pact with call for stronger, deeper alliance

  • In June last year, Trump told a news conference in Japan that the 1960 treaty was “unfair” and should be changed
  • The treaty obligates the United States to defend Japan, which under its US-drafted constitution renounced the right to wage war after World War Two

TOKYO: US President Donald Trump marked the 60th anniversary of the signing of the current US-Japan security treaty with a call for a stronger and deeper alliance between the two countries, despite criticizing the pact six months ago.
“As the security environment continues to evolve and new challenges arise, it is essential that our alliance further strengthen and deepen,” Trump said in a statement dated Jan. 18.
“I am confident that in the months and years ahead, Japan’s contributions to our mutual security will continue to grow, and the alliance will continue to thrive.”
In June last year, Trump told a news conference in Japan that the 1960 treaty — which was signed exactly six decades ago on Sunday, and is the linchpin of Japan’s defense policies — was “unfair” and should be changed, echoing his long-held view that Japan is a free-rider on defense.
Trump at the time added he was not thinking of withdrawing from the pact.
The treaty obligates the United States to defend Japan, which under its US-drafted constitution renounced the right to wage war after World War Two. Japan in return provides military bases used by the United States to project power in Asia.
The treaty was first signed in 1951 and revised in 1960 under Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s grandfather, then-premier Nobusuke Kishi. Kishi was forced to step down afterwards following a public outcry from Japanese critics who feared the pact would pull their country into conflict.


Afghan forces arrest regional IS leader

Updated 29 min 8 sec ago

Afghan forces arrest regional IS leader

  • Aslam Farooqi aka Abdullah Orakzai responsible for last month’s deadly Kabul Sikh temple attack has been detained: NDS
  • Afghan IS branch has been on back foot recently after continued operations by US forces and Taliban

Afghan forces have arrested the leader of the country’s Islamic State group affiliate along with 19 other jihadists, authorities said Saturday.
The National Directorate of Security (NDS) said in a statement that Aslam Farooqi, also known as Abdullah Orakzai, had been arrested along with the other men in a “complex operation.”
Speaking on condition of anonymity, an NDS official told AFP that Farooqi was the mastermind behind an IS-claimed attack on a Sikh temple in Kabul last month that killed at least 25 people.
Known as Islamic State in the Khorasan (IS-K), the Afghan IS branch has been on its back foot in recent months following continued operations by US forces and separately by the Taliban.
In November, Afghan officials said IS-K had been completely defeated in Nangarhar, one of the key eastern provinces where they first sought to establish a stronghold in 2015.
In the years since, they have claimed responsibility for a string of horrific bombings across Afghanistan.
In its statement, the NDS said Farooqi had admitted to having links with “regional intelligence agencies” — a clear reference to Pakistan, which Afghanistan routinely blames for supporting militants and helping the Taliban.
Islamabad denies it does so.
US Forces-Afghanistan did not immediately respond to a query about Farooqi’s arrest.