TOKYO - As fears of war grow in East Asia, the United States' chief Pacific ally, Japan, is moving away from decades of self-imposed restraint and launching its largest military buildup since World War II. As regional tensions increase, Japan's Prime Minister Fumio Kishida is urging the United States to grasp the urgency and gravity of this historic but dangerous moment.
"The global security environment is going through a major change," Kishida told me in a long interview in his official residence just before departing for a five-country tour that will end with him meeting President Biden at the White House on Friday. "Japan has made a major, huge decision to strengthen our defensive capability. And for that purpose, we also wish to deepen the bilateral cooperation with the United States even further."