January 25, 2018

ALLIES (AND THIS TIME I’M NOT USING THAT WORD IRONICALLY): Japan PM Abe reveals country’s first mission to defend US military aircraft.

“With tensions growing over North Korea, the Self-Defense Forces carried out a mission to protect U.S. vessels and aircraft for the first time,” Abe said on Monday. “An alliance gets stronger if the partners can help each other. The Japan-U.S. alliance has without a doubt become stronger than ever.”

The comments were the first confirmation of a cooperative U.S.-Japan air mission. Last spring, the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force helicopter carrier JS Izumo escorted the USNS Richard E. Byrd off Chiba Prefecture to resupply an unnamed warship that was helping defend against North Korean missiles.

If Beijing doesn’t like these developments, well, tough — they have no one to blame but themselves.