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International relations

Japan, U.S. defense chiefs talk missiles in 1st meeting

Hamada tells Austin about Japanese proposal for counterstrike capabilities

U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin, right, stands with Japanese Defense Minister Yasukazu Hamada at the Pentagon on Wednesday.   © AP

WASHINGTON -- Japanese Defense Minister Yasukazu Hamada met with U.S. counterpart Lloyd Austin for the first time here Wednesday to discuss the allies' deterrence strategy, including the potential for Japan to deploy standoff missiles.

In his opening remarks at the 95-minute meeting, Austin said China's "coercive actions in the Taiwan Strait and in the waters surrounding Japan" were "provocative, destabilizing and unprecedented."

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