The US Vice President arrives in Japan on Monday for the start of his three nation tour of East-Asia.
On the agenda for Joe Biden will be the growing tension between Tokyo and Beijing over a group of islands in the East China sea.
With Japan’s larger neighbour China asserting itself internationally, questions are being asked about whether Japan should rethink the role of its armed forces.
And China’s declaration this week of an air defence zone over the East China sea is making that discussion all the more urgent.
Al Jazeera’s Stephanie Scawen reports from Yokosuka in Japan.