U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin will tour Asia and Europe from next week, according to the Pentagon.
The U.S. defense chief will first visit Tokyo for talks with his Japanese counterpart Yasukazu Hamada and other senior leaders and to visit U.S. troops stationed in Japan.
The Pentagon said the trip to Japan comes as the two sides take important strides to modernize alliance capabilities, optimize U.S. force posture, and build links with like-minded partners following the historic U.S.-Japan “2+2” ministerial meeting earlier this year.
From there, Austin will travel to Singapore to attend the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) 20th Shangri-La Dialogue where he will meet with key leaders to advance U.S. defense partnerships across the region in support of the shared vision for a free and open Indo-Pacific, anchored in ASEAN centrality.
A defense ministers' meeting between South Korea, the U.S. and Japan is expected on the sidelines.
Austin will then visit New Delhi, India and conclude his trip in France.