US-Japan 2+2 talks “China is the biggest challenge”…Russia replaces commander-in-chief again in 3 months

‘Global Village Today’ presents big news from different countries around the world.

Host) What news do you have today?

Reporter) Yes. The foreign and defense chiefs of the United States and Japan held a ‘2+2’ meeting in Washington on the 11th and agreed to strengthen the security alliance in response to China’s growing military threat. Russia has replaced the commander-in-chief of the war in Ukraine again after three months.

Host) Global Village Today, here is the first news. A meeting of the US and Japanese foreign and defense ministers was held in Washington, right?

Reporter) Yes. On the 11th, the first meeting of the foreign and defense ministers of the United States and Japan, the so-called ‘2+2 Talk’, took place in Washington after the launch of the Joe Biden administration. Secretary of State Tony Blincoln and Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin from the United States, and Foreign Minister Hayashi Yoshimasa and Defense Minister Yasukazu Hamada from Japan were present at the discussions.

Moderator) What is the agenda of this meeting?

Reporter) This meeting was of the nature of pre-organizing the agenda before the summit between US President Joe Biden and Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, which is to be held at the White House on the 13th. The two countries’ ministers focused on security cooperation to counter the growing military threat from China, especially in the East China Sea and around Taiwan. In a joint press conference and joint statement after the meeting, the ministers identified China as the biggest strategic threat and outlined actions to respond to it.

Host) Let’s look at the contents of the joint press conference.

Reporter) Yes. In a press conference on the 11th, US Secretary of State Tony Blincoln took direct aim at China and said, “We agree that China is the biggest strategic challenge facing us, our allies, and n partners.” Minister Blincoln also emphasized that China is trying to undermine the current situation that has maintained peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait for the past decades, saying, “We will continue to take a calm and firm approach towards maintaining peace and stability.”

Host) What did Defense Secretary Austin say?

Reporter) Yes. Secretary Austin also said, “We discussed many issues, including our shared interest in peace and stability in the East and South China Seas and around the Taiwan Strait.” However, Secretary Austin said that although China’s military provocations in the Taiwan Strait are increasing, the possibility of a Chinese attack on Taiwan is not considered imminent.

Moderator) Tell us also what the Japanese ministers said.

Reporter) Yes. Japanese Foreign Minister Hayashi said that in order to prevent armed attacks that damage regional stability, the two countries decided to increase the joint use of public infrastructure facilities such as airports and ports as well as military bases even during time peace On the other hand, Defense Minister Hamada said that the two countries will expand joint military exercises and troop training in the future to strengthen the security alliance.

Moderator) Did you reveal specific plans for security cooperation?

Reporter) Yes. Both countries agreed to enhance their collective defense posture to counter security threats. This included the reorganization of the US Marine Corps based in Okinawa and cooperation in new areas such as the advanced military sectors of space. Regarding security in the space sector, Minister Blincoln said that space is important for the security and prosperity of the alliance between the United States and Japan, and that attacks in space could trigger Article 5 (mutual defense) of the Mutual Defense Treaty USA-Japan depending on the nature.”

Moderator) What was the story about the reorganization of US forces in Okinawa?

Reporter) Yes. “By 2025, a new mobile unit will be reorganized into the Marine Corps Coastal Regiment (MLR) to meet the growing challenges of the security environment,” said Secretary Austin. “The new force will have advanced intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance, anti-ship and transport attack capabilities, and will strengthen our ability to stop current and future threats,” Austin said.

Moderator) Was there any mention of North Korea?

Reporter) Yes. Foreign Minister Hayashi said in a meeting on the 11th that the ministers strongly condemn North Korea for launching ballistic missiles with unprecedented frequency over the past year. He added that both countries reaffirmed their firm commitment to the complete denuclearization of North Korea in accordance with the resolutions of the United Nations Security Council.

Host) What did the US ministers say?

Reporter) Yes. US Secretary of State Tony Blincoln repeatedly confirmed the need for complete denuclearization of North Korea and strengthening trilateral cooperation between the US, South Korea and Japan. Minister Blincoln pointed out that we are facing illegal and reckless missile launches by North Korea, including a long-range ballistic missile that passed over Japan in October last year.” “We are deepening trilateral cooperation with South Korea to protect ourselves from aggression and, if necessary, deter aggression,” he said. Secretary Austin also said that common interests include North Korea’s commitment to denuclearization. He said it was an idea.

Moderator) What was your evaluation of Japan’s move to increase its defense budget?

Reporter) Yes. Minister Blincoln supported Japan’s new national security strategy and plans to strengthen its defense capabilities. Minister Blincoln said, “We endorse Japan’s policy to double its defense budget by 2027.” It was emphasized that it had been clearly demonstrated.

In July 2022, Valery Gerasimov, Chief of the General Staff of the Russian Armed Forces and Deputy Prime Minister of Defense (left), inspects a “special military operation” at an undisclosed location in Ukraine. (data image)

Presenter) Global Village Today, this time, it is news related to Ukraine. The main Russian commander in charge of the war in Ukraine has been replaced again?

Reporter) Yes. The Russian Ministry of Defense announced in a statement on the 11th that it had appointed the Chief of the General Staff of the Russian Army, Valery Gerasimov, to head the “special military operations.” The highest-ranking general in active service in the Russian army was appointed to lead the war in Ukraine. The Russian Ministry of Defense explained in a statement that the rank of special military operations officer has been raised to increase the efficiency of close contact and control between units.

Host) Isn’t this the third time Russia has changed its commander in chief in the Ukraine War?

Reporter) Yes. Gerasimov is the third commander appointed after Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24 last year. The former commander-in-chief Sergey Surovikin, who was appointed commander-in-chief for the war in Ukraine in October last year, has been dismissed as deputy commander-in-chief.

Host) Who is Commander-in-Chief Gerasimov?

Correspondent) I have been Chief of the General Staff since 2012. A close aide to Russian President Vladimir Putin, he is known to have designed the plan to invade Ukraine last year.

Moderator) By the way, even at the beginning of the war, there was no post of commander in chief, right?

Reporter) That’s right. Initially, Russia expected that it would be able to immediately take control of the Ukrainian capital Kyiv through all-out war. However, when this plan unexpectedly failed, in April last year, the post of commander-in-chief of Ukraine had just been established and Army General Alexander Dvornikov, who was the commander of the Southern Military District, was appointed commander-in-chief.

Moderator) And haven’t you replaced the commander in a few months?

Reporter) That’s right. President Putin replaced the general with General Sergei Surovikin again in October after the Russian army was put on the defensive due to the Ukrainian army’s general offensive from August last year. Commander-in-Chief Surovikin is famous for conducting conventional bombing operations against civilians and soldiers alike in Chechnya and Syria. Before its replacement, drone and missile strikes were also launched against Ukraine, causing massive damage to its energy infrastructure.

Moderator) By the way, did you step down from your job after 3 months?

Reporter) Yes. The fact that Russia has replaced the commander-in-chief again in such a short period of time is interpreted as the fact that the war situation is becoming unfavorable for the Russian army. The British Ministry of Defense said the change of commander in chief was clear evidence that Russia was failing to achieve its strategic objectives in Ukraine.

Moderator) What is the reaction in Russia?

Reporter) There are negative reactions. Commander-in-Chief Gersimov has already been the target of criticism from far-right bloggers with nationalist leanings. Among the critics of Gerasimov’s commander-in-chief is Putin’s closest aide Yergeny Prigozhin. Prigozhin, the owner of the Wagner Group, a private Russian mercenary company, accused Commander-in-Chief Gerasimov of incompetence in connection with the withdrawal of Russian troops from Kharkiv in northeastern Ukraine in September last year.

Moderator) Yes. Global Village Today, I will listen to this.

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