As though the threat of China is not limited to its immediate neighbours, Japan and the United States are now wary of its presence and involvement with the island nations in the Pacific region. The two allies are now increasing their support to Pacific states to ensure their influence. The U.S. also wants to guarantee the security of its military bases in the Pacific region.
China has been providing funds to island nations without restrictions of their use, compared to Japan, which requires the specifics of where the funds should be used. Although China could take the favour in such aspect, Japan is confident that it still holds influence among the island nations. A senior officer from the Foreign Ministry believes that summit meetings with the leaders of Pacific states have strengthened Japan’s ties with the island nations. The official also takes confidence that Japan keeps it influence as it has been hosting forums for Pacific Alliance Leaders Meeting (PALM) since 1997.
There may be no specifics yet as to how China intends to make its next move, although it has built a port in Tonga. But former U.S. Assistant Defense Secretary for Asia and the Pacific Wallace Gregson said that it is still necessary to take some action. The U.S. is also particular with the security of the sea-lane connecting Hawaii, home of its Pacific Command, and Guam, warden of its military facilities needed for operations in Asia. The United States is now increasing its environmental support for the Pacific states. The U.S. Coast Guard has also been deployed to carry out ocean patrols.
During the Post-Forum Dialogue of the Pacific Islands Forum in August 2012, then U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton made it known that the U.S. and Japan are determined to work together to provide assistance to the island nations in the Pacific, especially with regard to disaster management. She also emphasized the protection of environment. According to Clinton, the U.S. and Japan will also make sure that local practices are respected.
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