December 28, Tuesday, 2021 (1:30 p.m.) Newsline

1. US President Joe Biden on Monday signed into law a defense bill that allocates more funds for an initiative aimed at boosting deterrence in the Indo-Pacific region. The National Defense Authorization Act for fiscal 2022 authorizes 768.2 billion dollars in defense spending.
2. Japan’s Defense Minister Kishi Nobuo has conveyed to his Chinese counterpart Wei Fenghe grave concerns over what he calls unilateral attempts by Beijing to alter the status quo by force. The two spoke by video call on Monday at Japan’s request. It was the first time they held talks since last December. Kishi raised concerns about the situation in the East China Sea, including waters around the Senkaku Islands.
3. Japanese authorities say they suspect a former student from China tried to illegally buy sophisticated computer security software sold in Japan. Investigative sources say the former student, who is in his 30s, allegedly tried to buy the software containing advanced technology in 2016. Only companies in Japan are allowed to buy it.