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.


Forest fire near Chernobyl boosts radiation level

Updated 05 April 2020

Forest fire near Chernobyl boosts radiation level

  • The blaze has spread to about 100 hectares (250 acres)
  • Authorities said 130 firefighters and two planes were laboring to put out the fire

MINSK, Belarus: A forest fire is burning in the evacuated area around the Chernobyl nuclear power plant and is causing elevated radiation levels, authorities said Sunday.
The blaze has spread to about 100 hectares (250 acres), said Yehor Firsov, head of Ukraine’s state ecological inspection service.
The emergency services ministry said 130 firefighters and two planes were laboring to put out the fire. It said radiation levels had increased at the fire’s center.
The blaze is within the 2,600-square-kilometer Chernobyl Exclusion Zone established after the 1986 disaster at the plant that sent a cloud of radioactive fallout over much of Europe. The zone is largely unpopulated, although about 200 people have remained there despite orders to leave.