U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry travels to Asia this week for talks with Chinese and South Korean officials. But he will not be visiting Japan, which is moving closer to Russia and India amid uncertain relations with Washington.
Japanese paratroopers are training to defend disputed islands in the East China Sea, as China increases naval patrols under a new air defense zone that includes the islands.
It’s a standoff that increasingly threatens to involve the United States at a time when relations between Washington and Tokyo are strained over the Yasukuni Shrine, which honors millions of Japanese war dead including 14 convicted of war crimes following World War II.
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe says he went to the shrine to pray for veterans without “hatred or hostility.”