The United States, Japan and Australia will launch a joint air defense system, the US president announced today joe biden, welcoming the Prime Minister of Japan to the White House Fumio Kishidafor talks focused on strengthening the two countries’ ties to China.

“For the first time, Japan, the US and Australia will create an anti-aircraft missile network and a defense architecture,” Biden said at a joint news conference held by the two leaders.

Tokyo and Washington are also taking steps to modernize their military command and infrastructure in Japan to enhance the interoperability of their forces. Biden said this military upgrade is the most significant since the two countries’ alliance began.

Kishida said that in addition to plans to strengthen Japan’s defense forces, he discussed China and North Korea with Biden.

“We agreed that our two countries will continue to respond to China-related challenges through close cooperation. At the same time, we confirmed that it is important to continue dialogue with China and cooperation with China on our common challenges,” the Japanese prime minister said. “I explained that, as part of the national security strategy, Japan is determined to strengthen its defense forces by acquiring counter-attack capabilities, increasing the defense budget and other initiatives,” he continued, explaining that Biden assured him of the “strong support” that will have these efforts on behalf of the White House.

As for Russia, Kishida said he was determined to continue the sanctions against it.

A Japanese on the moon

Biden said that as part of a US space mission, a Japanese astronaut would become the first non-American to set foot on the moon.

“Two Japanese astronauts will participate in future US missions, and one will be the first non-American to land on the moon,” Biden said, hailing “the outstanding success in space” and confirming that Japan would deliver a lunar rover to the US.

The US wants to return to the Moon under the Artemis program. The Artemis 3 mission, the first to send astronauts to the Earth’s satellite, is scheduled for 2026. As part of this program, the first woman and the first non-white astronaut will go to the Moon. With the “Apollo” program, 12 American men went to the moon, all of them white. These are also the only 12 people who have set foot on the Moon to date.