By MARI YAMAGUCHI
TOKYO (AP) — The head of the U.S. Indo-Pacific Command has met with Japan’s Prime Minister Fumio Kishida and reaffirmed America’s commitment to achieving a free and open Indo-Pacific despite rising tensions amid China’s increasingly assertive military actions. Adm. John C. Aquilino was in Tokyo following a three-day joint session with Chief of Staff Koji Yamazaki that included a trip to Japan’s southern islands, where they observed Japan Self-Defense Force exercises in the same region where Chinese warships have been repeatedly spotted. Aquilino’s trip follows recent visits by top navy officials from Britain and Germany. China has defended its growing maritime activities in the regional seas.