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The US ambassador to Japan urges Tokyo to help quickly replenish the US missile inventory

TOKYO (AP) — The United States needs Japan’s help to quickly replenish missile inventory as conflicts in the Middle East and Ukraine continue and Washington seeks to keep its deterrence credible in the Indo-Pacific, the U.S. ambassador to Japan said Monday.

“It is clear that the United States military industrial base cannot meet all the strategic challenges that we have and obligations we have,” Ambassador Rahm Emanuel said.

He spoke as Japan and the U.S. held their first talks to accelerate military industrial cooperation, two months after an April agreement between Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida and U.S. President Joe Biden.

“The goal here is not more meetings. The goal is production,” Emanuel said, adding: “Those who want to do harm to the United States are not going to wait for our industrial capacity to build itself up.”

The ambassador said China’s shipbuilding capacity will surpass the U.S. and that repairs in Japan of U.S. Navy ships and Air Force aircraft deployed in the region can free up U.S. industrial capacity to focus on building new ships.

This week’s talks in Tokyo are between U.S. Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition and Sustainment William LaPlante and his Japanese counterpart, Masaki Fukasawa, head of the Acquisition, Technology and Logistics Agency.

They agreed to establish working groups for missile co-production and for maintenance and repair of U.S. Navy ships and Air Force aircraft in the region, the Japanese Defense Ministry said in a statement. There will be also a group to discuss a stronger supply chain.

Japan in December eased its arms export restrictions to accommodate a U.S. request for shipment of surface-to-air PAC-3 missile interceptors produced in Japan under an American license