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I welcome the Government of Japan's new policy regarding collective self-defense, which will enable the Japan Self-Defense Forces to engage in a wider range of operations and make the U.S.-Japan alliance even more effective. This decision is an important step for Japan as it seeks to make a greater contribution to regional and global peace and security. The new policy also complements our ongoing efforts to modernize our alliance through the revision of our bilateral guidelines for defense cooperation.
The United States has an enduring interest in the Asia-Pacific's peace and prosperity, and our alliance with Japan is critical to our strategy in the region. I look forward to discussing Japan's decision with Defense Minister Onodera when he visits Washington next week.