Japan's new Foreign Minister Yoko Kamikawa and U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken agreed Thursday to closely cooperate in dealing with China and Russia's invasion of Ukraine during their first phone talks.

"The alliance with the United States is the linchpin for Japan's diplomacy and security," Kamikawa, who assumed the foreign affairs portfolio on Wednesday following a Cabinet reshuffle, told reporters after the roughly 10-minute conversation, calling her talks with Blinken "an important step" toward building a relationship of trust.

Foreign Minister Yoko Kamikawa speaks to reporters at the Foreign Ministry on Sept. 14, 2023, after having phone talks with U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken. (Kyodo)

Blinken congratulated Kamikawa on her new role, which made her the first female Japanese foreign minister in around two decades. The 70-year-old lawmaker succeeded Yoshimasa Hayashi, who had been in the post since November 2021.

The two agreed to hold a meeting in New York next week on the fringes of the annual session of the U.N. General Assembly, according to Kamikawa.

According to the Japanese Foreign Ministry, Kamikawa and Blinken also pledged to work together to address North Korea's missile and nuclear threats and further beef up the Japan-U.S. alliance's deterrence and response capabilities in the face what they view as an increasingly severe security environment.

Kamikawa told Blinken that Japan, as chair of this year's Group of Seven industrialized nations, is resolved to work toward "maintaining and strengthening the free and open international order based on the rule of law," the ministry said.

The talks came as the rift between the major democracies led by the G-7 and the China-Russia camp has been deepening over Moscow's war in Ukraine since February last year and Beijing's increasing military activities in the Indo-Pacific.

It was the first talks for Kamikawa with any foreign counterpart since she became foreign minister.

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