US Looks to Asian Nations to Build Own Militaries

WASHINGTON - U.S. lawmakers are voicing bipartisan support for the Obama administration's strategic pivot to Asia but stress the need for partner nations to strengthen their own military capabilities and contribute more to their own defense.

Members of the House Armed Services Committee plan to step up scrutiny of U.S. military policy in the fast-growing region, where despite budget pressure, Washington wants to increase its presence.

The Republican chairman of the committee, congressman Howard "Buck" McKeon of California, said Tuesday he supports a more active role for Japan's military, long constrained by its pacifist constitution.

Democratic congressman Adam Smith of Washington state says a key to making the pivot work is for the U.S. to build up its partners so the security burden doesn't fall on the U.S. alone.

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