Top US Navy Officer Meets Abe, Talks Great Powers Competition

Sunday, January 20, 2019

Tokyo- (PanOrient News) The American chief of naval operations, Adm. John Richardson, visited Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and other top officials in Tokyo this week to discuss increasing global maritime awareness and access to Japan and the surrounding region.

During his two-day visit beginning on Jan. 17, Richardson emphasized the importance of the U.S.-Japan alliance and the countries’ maritime partnership in particular. In addition to Abe, he also met with Minister for Foreign Affairs Taro Kono and Vice Minister of Defense Kenji Harada, among others.

Richardson presented the Chief of Maritime Staff of the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force Adm. Yutaka Murakawa with a Legion of Merit in honor of his service in strengthening ties between American and Japanese maritime forces. A Legion of Merit is an American military decoration that can be awarded to citizens of other nations.

“Every time I have the pleasure of visiting Japan, we arrive with a very, very strong relationship, and we depart with an even stronger relationship,” said Richardson. “That does not happen by accident. That only occurs by virtue of visionary leadership.”

Before heading to Tokyo, Richardson met with sailors at an American naval base in Yokosuka to hear feedback and talk about the Navy’s increasing role in a competition of global powers, in which the U.S. and its close ally Japan have strategically been at odds with China in the Indo-Pacific region, U.S. Navy reported.

“If we can win this competition without firing a shot, then that’s the best war we’ll win,” said Richardson. “But history shows that it doesn’t go that way, unless you’re really ready to win. So that’s what we need to do. We need to get ready in every way to win this fight.”

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