The New York Times reports that "the United States and Japan agreed on Thursday to broaden their security alliance, expanding Japan’s role while trying to show American determination to remain a dominant presence in the region."
"The agreement, which will position surveillance drones in Japan for the first time, underscored the two countries’ efforts to respond to growing challenges from China and North Korea at a time of budget constraints. It also included some of the clearest signals yet that the United States backs Japan’s increasing though still limited moves to strengthen its military, and its military ties in Asia, as a counterbalance to China’s own buildup."
"Those provisions are sure to rankle China and come at a time of already heightened tensions between the two Asian powers, which are locked in a standoff over islands in the East China Sea. The drones, as well as Navy reconnaissance planes never before stationed outside the United States, are expected to patrol waters in the region, including those around the disputed island chain."
The Christian Science Monitor offers video: