The Guidelines for Japan-U.S. Defense Cooperation

April 27, 2015

. Defense Cooperation and the Aim of the Guidelines

In order to ensure Japan's peace and security under any circumstances, from peacetime to contingencies, and to promote a stable, peaceful, and prosperous Asia-Pacific region and beyond, bilateral security and defense cooperation will emphasize:

  • • seamless, robust, flexible, and effective bilateral responses;
  • • synergy across the two governments' national security policies;
  • • a whole-of-government Alliance approach;
  • • cooperation with regional and other partners, as well as international organizations; and
  • • the global nature of the Japan-U.S. Alliance.

The two governments will continuously enhance the Japan-U.S. Alliance. Each government will maintain its individual defense posture based on its national security policy. Japan will possess defense capability on the basis of the "National Security Strategy" and the "National Defense Program Guidelines". The United States will continue to extend deterrence to Japan through the full range of capabilities, including U.S. nuclear forces. The United States also will continue to forward deploy combat-ready forces in the Asia-Pacific region and maintain the ability to reinforce those forces rapidly.

The Guidelines for Japan-U.S. Defense Cooperation ("the Guidelines") provide the general framework and policy direction for the roles and missions of Japan and the United States, as well as ways of cooperation and coordination, with a view to improving the effectiveness of bilateral security and defense cooperation. In this way, the Guidelines advance peace and security, deter conflict, secure the basis for economic prosperity, and promote domestic and international understanding of the significance of the Japan-U.S. Alliance.

. Basic Premises and Principles

The Guidelines, as well as actions and activities under the Guidelines, are and will be consistent with the following basic premises and principles.

  • A. The rights and obligations under the Treaty of Mutual Cooperation and Security between Japan and the United States of America (the Japan-U.S. Security Treaty) and its related arrangements, as well as the fundamental framework of the Japan-U.S. Alliance, will remain unchanged.
  • B. All actions and activities undertaken by Japan and the United States under the Guidelines will be consistent with international law, including the Charter of the United Nations and its provisions regarding the peaceful settlement of disputes and sovereign equality of States, as well as other relevant international agreements.
  • C. All actions and activities undertaken by Japan and the United States will be in accordance with their respective constitutions, laws, and regulations then in effect, and basic positions on national security policy. Japan will conduct actions and activities in accordance with its basic positions, such as the maintenance of its exclusively national defense-oriented policy and its three non-nuclear principles.
  • D. The Guidelines do not obligate either government to take legislative, budgetary, administrative, or other measures, nor do the Guidelines create legal rights or obligations for either government. Since the objective of the Guidelines, however, is to establish an effective framework for bilateral cooperation, the two governments are expected to reflect in an appropriate way the results of these efforts, based on their own judgment, in their specific policies and measures.

. Strengthened Alliance Coordination

Effective bilateral cooperation under the Guidelines will require the two governments to conduct close, consultative dialogue and sound policy and operational coordination from peacetime to contingencies.

The two governments must be well informed and coordinate at multiple levels to ensure successful bilateral security and defense cooperation. To that end, the two governments will take advantage of all available channels to enhance information sharing and to ensure seamless and effective whole-of-government Alliance coordination that includes all relevant agencies. For this purpose, the two governments will establish a new, standing Alliance Coordination Mechanism, enhance operational coordination, and strengthen bilateral planning.

A. Alliance Coordination Mechanism

Persistent and emerging threats can have a serious and immediate impact on the peace and security of Japan and the United States. In order to address seamlessly and effectively any situation that affects Japan's peace and security or any other situation that may require an Alliance response, the two governments will utilize the Alliance Coordination Mechanism. This mechanism will strengthen policy and operational coordination related to activities conducted by the Self-Defense Forces and the United States Armed Forces in all phases from peacetime to contingencies. This mechanism also will contribute to timely information sharing as well as the development and maintenance of common situational awareness. To ensure effective coordination, the two governments will establish necessary procedures and infrastructure (including facilities as well as information and communication systems) and conduct regular training and exercises.

The two governments will tailor to the situation the procedures for coordination as well as the exact composition of participating agencies within the Alliance Coordination Mechanism structure. As part of these procedures, contact information will be shared and maintained from peacetime.

B. Enhanced Operational Coordination

Enhanced bilateral operational coordination for flexible and responsive command and control is a core capability of critical importance to Japan and the United States. In this context, the two governments recognize the continued importance of collocating operational coordination functions to strengthen cooperation between the Self-Defense Forces and the United States Armed Forces.

The Self-Defense Forces and the United States Armed Forces will exchange personnel to ensure robust information sharing, to facilitate coordination from peacetime to contingencies, and to support international activities. The Self-Defense Forces and the United States Armed Forces, in close cooperation and coordination, will take action through their respective chains-of-command.

C. Bilateral Planning

The two governments will continue to develop and update bilateral plans to ensure smooth and effective execution of coordinated operations by the Self-Defense Forces and the United States Armed Forces. To ensure the effectiveness of the plans and the ability to make flexible, timely, and appropriate responses, the two governments will exchange relevant information, including identifying operational and logistic support requirements and sources in advance, as appropriate.

The two governments will conduct bilateral planning in peacetime for contingencies relevant to Japan's peace and security through an upgraded Bilateral Planning Mechanism, which includes relevant agencies of the respective governments. Bilateral plans will be developed with input from relevant agencies, as appropriate. The Security Consultative Committee (SCC) will continue to be responsible for presenting directions, validating the progress of the planning under the mechanism, and issuing directives as necessary. The SCC will be assisted by an appropriate subordinate body.

Bilateral plans are to be reflected appropriately in the plans of both governments.

. Seamlessly Ensuring Japan's Peace and Security

Persistent and emerging threats can have a serious and immediate impact on Japan's peace and security. In this increasingly complex security environment, the two governments will take measures to ensure Japan's peace and security in all phases, seamlessly, from peacetime to contingencies, including situations when an armed attack against Japan is not involved. In this context, the two governments also will promote further cooperation with partners.

The two governments recognize that these measures need to be taken based on flexible, timely, and effective bilateral coordination tailored to each situation and that interagency coordination is essential for appropriate Alliance responses. Therefore, the two governments will utilize the whole-of-government Alliance Coordination Mechanism, as appropriate, to:

  • • assess the situation;
  • • share information; and
  • • develop ways to implement the appropriate Alliance response, including flexible deterrent options, as well as actions aimed at de-escalation.

To support these bilateral efforts, the two governments also will coordinate strategic messaging through appropriate channels on issues that could potentially affect Japan's peace and security.

A. Cooperative Measures from Peacetime

In order to ensure the maintenance of Japan's peace and security, the two governments will promote cooperation across a wide range of areas, including through diplomatic efforts, to strengthen the deterrence and capabilities of the Japan-U.S. Alliance.

The Self-Defense Forces and the United States Armed Forces will enhance interoperability, readiness, and vigilance to prepare for all possible situations.
To these ends, the two governments will take measures, including, but not limited to, the following:

1. Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance

In order to identify at the earliest possible stage any indications of threats to Japan's peace and security and to ensure a decisive advantage in intelligence gathering and analysis, the two governments will share and protect information and intelligence, while developing and maintaining common situational awareness. This will include enhancing coordination and cooperation among relevant agencies.

The Self-Defense Forces and the United States Armed Forces will conduct intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) activities based on the capabilities and availability of their respective assets. This will include conducting bilateral ISR activities in a mutually supportive manner to ensure persistent coverage of developments that could affect Japan's peace and security.

2. Air and Missile Defense

The Self-Defense Forces and the United States Armed Forces will maintain and strengthen deterrence and their defense postures against ballistic missile launches and aerial incursions. The two governments will cooperate to expand early warning capabilities, interoperability, network coverage, and real-time information exchange and to pursue the comprehensive improvement of capabilities to respond to the threat of ballistic missiles. Moreover, the two governments will continue to coordinate closely in responding to provocative missile launches and other aerial activities.

3. Maritime Security

The two governments will cooperate closely with each other on measures to maintain maritime order based upon international law, including freedom of navigation. The Self-Defense Forces and the United States Armed Forces will cooperate, as appropriate, on various efforts such as maintaining and enhancing bilateral presence in the maritime domain through ISR and training and exercises, while further developing and enhancing shared maritime domain awareness including by coordinating with relevant agencies, as necessary.

4. Asset Protection

The Self-Defense Forces and the United States Armed Forces will provide mutual protection of each other's assets, as appropriate, if engaged in activities that contribute to the defense of Japan in a cooperative manner, including during training and exercises.

5. Training and Exercises

The Self-Defense Forces and the United States Armed Forces will conduct effective bilateral and multilateral training and exercises both inside and outside of Japan in order to strengthen interoperability, sustainability, and readiness. Timely and realistic training and exercises will enhance deterrence. To support these activities, the two governments will cooperate to ensure that training areas, facilities, and associated equipment are available, accessible, and modern.

6. Logistic Support

Japan and the United States are primarily responsible for providing logistic support for their respective forces in all phases. The Self-Defense Forces and the United States Armed Forces will provide mutual logistic support where appropriate, including, but not limited to, supply, maintenance, transportation, engineering, and medical services, for such activities as set forth in the Agreement between the Government of Japan and the Government of the United States of America Concerning Reciprocal Provision of Logistic Support, Supplies and Services between the Self-Defense Forces of Japan and the Armed Forces of the United States of America (the Acquisition and Cross-Servicing Agreement) and its related arrangements.

7. Use of Facilities

In order to expand interoperability and improve flexibility and resiliency of the Self-Defense Forces and the United States Armed Forces, the two governments will enhance joint/shared use and cooperate in ensuring the security of facilities and areas. Recognizing the importance of being prepared for contingencies, the two governments also will cooperate in conducting site surveys on facilities including civilian airports and seaports, as appropriate.

B. Responses to Emerging Threats to Japan's Peace and Security

The Alliance will respond to situations that will have an important influence on Japan's peace and security. Such situations cannot be defined geographically. The measures described in this section include those that may be taken, in accordance with the two countries' respective laws and regulations, in circumstances that have not yet amounted to such a situation. Early recognition and adaptable, resolute decision-making on bilateral actions will contribute to deterrence and de-escalation of such situations.

In addition to continuing cooperative measures from peacetime, the two governments will pursue all avenues, including diplomatic efforts, to ensure the peace and security of Japan. Utilizing the Alliance Coordination Mechanism, the two governments will take additional measures, based on their own decisions, including, but not limited to, those listed below.

1. Noncombatant Evacuation Operations

When Japanese and U.S. noncombatants need to be evacuated from a third country to a safe haven, each government is responsible for evacuating its own nationals, as well as dealing with the authorities of the affected area. As appropriate, the two governments will coordinate in planning and cooperate in carrying out evacuations of Japanese or U.S. noncombatants. These evacuations will be carried out using each country's capabilities such as transportation means and facilities in a mutually supplementary manner. The two governments may each consider extending evacuation assistance to third-country noncombatants.

The two governments will conduct early-stage coordination through the Alliance Coordination Mechanism, as appropriate, to carry out cooperation in fields such as the safety of evacuees, transportation means and facilities, customs, immigration and quarantine processing, safe havens, and medical services. The two governments will enhance coordination in noncombatant evacuation operations from peacetime, as appropriate, including by conducting training and exercises.

2. Maritime Security

Taking into account their respective capabilities, the two governments will cooperate closely to enhance maritime security. Cooperative measures may include, but are not limited to, information sharing and inspection of ships based on a United Nations Security Council resolution or other basis under international law.

3. Measures to Deal with Refugees

If a situation develops such that a flow of refugees into Japan becomes likely or actually begins, the two governments will cooperate to maintain Japan's peace and security while handling refugees in a humane manner consistent with applicable obligations under international law. Primary responsibility for such refugee response lies with Japan. The United States will provide appropriate support upon a request from Japan.

4. Search and Rescue

The two governments will cooperate and provide mutual support, as appropriate, in search and rescue operations. The Self-Defense Forces, in cooperation with relevant agencies, will provide support to combat search and rescue operations by the United States, where appropriate, subject to Japanese laws and regulations.

5. Protection of Facilities and Areas

The Self-Defense Forces and the United States Armed Forces are responsible for protecting their own facilities and areas in cooperation with relevant authorities. Upon request from the United States, Japan will provide additional protection for facilities and areas in Japan in close cooperation and coordination with the United States Armed Forces.

6. Logistic Support

The two governments will enhance mutual logistic support (which includes, but is not limited to, supply, maintenance, transportation, engineering, and medical services), as appropriate, to enable effective and efficient operations. This includes rapid validation and resourcing of operational and logistic support requirements. The Government of Japan will make appropriate use of the authorities and assets of central and local government agencies as well as private sector assets. The Government of Japan will provide logistic or other associated support where appropriate, subject to Japanese laws and regulations.

7. Use of Facilities

The Government of Japan will provide, as needed, temporary use of facilities, including civilian airports and seaports, in accordance with the Japan-U.S. Security Treaty and its related arrangements. The two governments will enhance cooperation in joint/shared use of facilities and areas.

C. Actions in Response to an Armed Attack against Japan

Bilateral actions in response to an armed attack against Japan remain a core aspect of Japan-U.S. security and defense cooperation.

When an armed attack against Japan is anticipated, the two governments will take steps to deter the armed attack and to de-escalate the situation, while making preparations necessary for the defense of Japan.

When an armed attack against Japan occurs, the two governments will conduct appropriate bilateral actions to repel it at the earliest possible stage and to deter any further attacks. The two governments also will take necessary measures including those listed earlier in Chapter IV.

1. When an Armed Attack against Japan is Anticipated

When an armed attack against Japan is anticipated, the two governments will intensify, through a comprehensive and robust whole-of-government approach, information and intelligence sharing and policy consultations, and will pursue all avenues, including diplomatic efforts, to deter the attack and to de-escalate the situation.

The Self-Defense Forces and the United States Armed Forces will assume appropriate postures for bilateral operations, including the execution of necessary deployments. Japan will establish and maintain the basis for its support of U.S. deployments. The preparations by the two governments may include, but would not be limited to: joint/shared use of facilities and areas; mutual logistic support, including, but not limited to, supply, maintenance, transportation, engineering, and medical services; and reinforced protection of U.S. facilities and areas in Japan.

2. When an Armed Attack against Japan Occurs

a. Principles for Coordinated Actions

If an armed attack against Japan occurs despite diplomatic efforts and deterrence, Japan and the United States will cooperate to repel promptly the attack and deter any further attacks to return peace and security to Japan. Such coordinated actions will contribute to the reestablishment of peace and security in the region.

Japan will maintain primary responsibility for defending the citizens and territory of Japan and will take actions immediately to repel an armed attack against Japan as expeditiously as possible. The Self-Defense Forces will have the primary responsibility to conduct defensive operations in Japan and its surrounding waters and airspace, as well as its air and maritime approaches. The United States will coordinate closely with Japan and provide appropriate support. The United States Armed Forces will support and supplement the Self-Defense Forces to defend Japan. The United States will take actions to shape the regional environment in a way that supports the defense of Japan and reestablishes peace and security.

Recognizing that all instruments of national power will be required to defend Japan, the two governments respectively will employ a whole-of-government approach, utilizing their respective chains-of-command, to coordinate actions through the Alliance Coordination Mechanism.

The United States will employ forward-deployed forces, including those stationed in Japan, and introduce reinforcements from elsewhere, as required. Japan will establish and maintain the basis required to facilitate these deployments.

The two governments will take actions as appropriate to provide defense of each other's forces and facilities in response to an armed attack against Japan.

b. Concept of Operations
ⅰ. Operations to Defend Airspace

The Self-Defense Forces and the United States Armed Forces will conduct bilateral operations to defend airspace above and surrounding Japan.

The Self-Defense Forces will have primary responsibility for conducting air defense operations while ensuring air superiority. For this purpose, the Self-Defense Forces will take necessary actions, including, but not limited to, defense against attacks by aircraft and cruise missiles.

The United States Armed Forces will conduct operations to support and supplement the Self-Defense Forces' operations.

ⅱ. Operations to Counter Ballistic Missile Attacks

The Self-Defense Forces and the United States Armed Forces will conduct bilateral operations to counter ballistic missile attacks against Japan.

The Self-Defense Forces and the United States Armed Forces will exchange real-time information for early detection of ballistic missile launches. When there is an indication of a ballistic missile attack, the Self-Defense Forces and the United States Armed Forces will maintain an effective posture to defend against ballistic missile attacks heading for Japan and to protect forces participating in ballistic missile defense operations.

The Self-Defense Forces will have primary responsibility for conducting ballistic missile defense operations to defend Japan.

The United States Armed Forces will conduct operations to support and supplement the Self-Defense Forces' operations.

ⅲ. Operations to Defend Maritime Areas

The Self-Defense Forces and the United States Armed Forces will conduct bilateral operations to defend waters surrounding Japan and to secure the safety of sea lines of communication.

The Self-Defense Forces will have primary responsibility for the protection of major ports and straits in Japan and of ships and vessels in waters surrounding Japan and for other associated operations. For this purpose, the Self-Defense Forces will take necessary actions, including, but not limited to, coastal defense, anti-surface warfare, anti-submarine warfare, mine warfare, anti-air warfare, and air interdiction.

The United States Armed Forces will conduct operations to support and supplement the Self-Defense Forces' operations.

The Self-Defense Forces and the United States Armed Forces will cooperate in the interdiction of shipping activities providing support to adversaries involved in the armed attack.

The effectiveness of these activities will be enhanced through information sharing and other forms of cooperation among relevant agencies.

ⅳ. Operations to Counter Ground Attacks

The Self-Defense Forces and the United States Armed Forces will conduct bilateral operations to counter ground attacks against Japan by ground, air, maritime, or amphibious forces.

The Self-Defense Forces will have primary responsibility for conducting operations to prevent and repel ground attacks, including those against islands. If the need arises, the Self-Defense Forces will conduct operations to retake an island. For this purpose, the Self-Defense Forces will take necessary actions, including, but not limited to, operations to prevent and repel airborne and seaborne invasions, amphibious operations, and rapid deployment.

The Self-Defense Forces, in cooperation with relevant agencies, also will have primary responsibility for defeating attacks by special operations forces or any other unconventional attacks in Japan, including those that involve infiltration.

The United States Armed Forces will conduct operations to support and supplement the Self-Defense Forces' operations.

ⅴ. Cross-Domain Operations

The Self-Defense Forces and the United States Armed Forces will conduct bilateral operations across domains to repel an armed attack against Japan and to deter further attacks. These operations will be designed to achieve effects across multiple domains simultaneously.

Examples of cooperation across domains include the actions described below.

The Self-Defense Forces and the United States Armed Forces, in cooperation with relevant agencies, as appropriate, will strengthen their respective ISR postures, enhance the sharing of intelligence, and provide protection for each other's ISR assets.

The United States Armed Forces may conduct operations involving the use of strike power, to support and supplement the Self-Defense Forces. When the United States Armed Forces conduct such operations, the Self-Defense Forces may provide support, as necessary. These operations will be based on close bilateral coordination, as appropriate.

The two governments will cooperate to address threats in the space and cyberspace domains in accordance with bilateral cooperation set out in Chapter Ⅵ.

The Self-Defense Forces and the United States Armed Forces' special operations forces will cooperate during operations, as appropriate.

c. Operational Support Activities

The two governments will cooperate in the following activities in support of bilateral operations.

ⅰ. Communications and Electronics

The two governments will provide mutual support to ensure effective use of communications and electronics capabilities, as appropriate.

The Self-Defense Forces and the United States Armed Forces will ensure effective communication between the two forces and maintain a common operational picture for bilateral operations under common situational awareness.

ⅱ. Search and Rescue

The Self-Defense Forces and the United States Armed Forces, in cooperation with relevant agencies, will cooperate and provide mutual support in search and rescue operations, including combat search and rescue, as appropriate.

ⅲ. Logistic Support

When operations require supplementing their respective logistics resources, the Self-Defense Forces and the United States Armed Forces will provide flexible and timely mutual logistic support, based on their respective capabilities and availability.

The two governments will make appropriate use of the authorities and assets of central and local government agencies, as well as private sector assets, to provide support.

ⅳ. Use of Facilities

The Government of Japan will provide, as needed, additional facilities in accordance with the Japan-U.S. Security Treaty and its related arrangements. The two governments will enhance cooperation in joint/shared use of facilities and areas.

ⅴ. Chemical, Biological, Radiological, and Nuclear Protection

The Government of Japan will maintain primary responsibility for emergency responses to chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear (CBRN) incidents or attacks in Japan. The United States retains primary responsibility for maintaining and restoring the mission capability of the United States Armed Forces in Japan. At Japan's request, the United States will support Japan in CBRN incident or attack prevention and response-related activities in an effort to ensure the protection of Japan, as appropriate.

D. Actions in Response to an Armed Attack against a Country other than Japan

When Japan and the United States each decides to take actions involving the use of force in accordance with international law, including full respect for sovereignty, and with their respective Constitutions and laws to respond to an armed attack against the United States or a third country, and Japan has not come under armed attack, they will cooperate closely to respond to the armed attack and to deter further attacks. Bilateral responses will be coordinated through the whole-of-government Alliance Coordination Mechanism.

Japan and the United States will cooperate as appropriate with other countries taking action in response to the armed attack.

The Self-Defense Forces will conduct appropriate operations involving the use of force to respond to situations where an armed attack against a foreign country that is in a close relationship with Japan occurs and as a result, threatens Japan's survival and poses a clear danger to overturn fundamentally its people's right to life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness, to ensure Japan's survival, and to protect its people.

Examples of cooperative operations are outlined below:

1. Asset Protection

The Self-Defense Forces and the United States Armed Forces will cooperate in asset protection, as appropriate. Such cooperation will include, but not be limited to, protection of assets that are engaged in operations such as Noncombatant Evacuation Operations or Ballistic Missile Defense.

2. Search and Rescue

The Self-Defense Forces and the United States Armed Forces, in cooperation with relevant agencies, will cooperate and provide support in search and rescue operations, including combat search and rescue, as appropriate.

3. Maritime Operations

The Self-Defense Forces and the United States Armed Forces will cooperate in minesweeping, as appropriate, including to secure the safety of sea lines of communication.

The Self-Defense Forces and the United States Armed Forces, in cooperation with relevant agencies, will cooperate in escort operations to protect ships and vessels, as appropriate.

The Self-Defense Forces and the United States Armed Forces, in cooperation with relevant agencies, will cooperate in the interdiction of shipping activities providing support to adversaries involved in the armed attack, as appropriate.

4. Operations to Counter Ballistic Missile Attacks

The Self-Defense Forces and the United States Armed Forces will cooperate in intercepting ballistic missiles, as appropriate, in accordance with their respective capabilities. The two governments will exchange information to ensure early detection of ballistic missile launches.

5. Logistics Support

When operations require supplementing their respective logistics resources, the Self-Defense Forces and the United States Armed Forces will provide flexible and timely mutual logistic support, based on their respective capabilities and availability.

The two governments will make appropriate use of the authorities and assets of central and local government agencies, as well as private sector assets, to provide support.

E. Cooperation in Response to a Large-scale Disaster in Japan

When a large-scale disaster takes place in Japan, Japan will have primary responsibility for responding to the disaster. The Self-Defense Forces, in cooperation with relevant agencies, local governments, and private actors, will conduct disaster relief operations. Recognizing that immediate recovery from a large-scale disaster in Japan is essential for Japan's peace and security and that such a disaster could affect the activities of the United States Armed Forces in Japan, the United States, in accordance with its own criteria, will provide appropriate support for Japan's activities. Such support may include search and rescue, transportation, supply, medical services, incident awareness and assessment, and other specialized capabilities. The two governments will coordinate activities through the Alliance Coordination Mechanism, as appropriate.

To improve the effectiveness of the United States Armed Forces' cooperation in humanitarian assistance and disaster relief activities in Japan, the two governments will work together closely, including through information sharing. In addition, the United States Armed Forces also may participate in disaster-related drills, which will increase mutual understanding in responding to large-scale disasters.

. Cooperation for Regional and Global Peace and Security

In an increasingly interconnected world, Japan and the United States will take a leading role in cooperation with partners to provide a foundation for peace, security, stability, and economic prosperity in the Asia-Pacific region and beyond. For well over half a century, both countries have worked together to deliver effective solutions to challenges in diverse regions of the world.

When each of the two governments decides to participate in international activities for the peace and security of the region and beyond, the two governments, including the Self-Defense Forces and the United States Armed Forces, will cooperate closely with each other and with partners, as appropriate, such as in the activities described below. This cooperation also will contribute to the peace and security of both countries.

A. Cooperation in International Activities

The two governments will participate in international activities, based on their own judgment. When working together, the Self-Defense Forces and the United States Armed Forces will cooperate to the maximum extent practicable.

The two governments may coordinate the activities through the Alliance Coordination Mechanism, as appropriate, and also will pursue trilateral and multilateral cooperation in these activities. The Self-Defense Forces and the United States Armed Forces will share procedures and best practices, as appropriate, for smooth and effective cooperation. While the two governments will continue to cooperate on a broad array of issues that may not be explicitly included in the Guidelines, common areas for cooperation by the two governments in regional and international activities will include:

1. Peacekeeping Operations

When the two governments participate in peacekeeping operations authorized by the United Nations (UN) in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations, the two governments will cooperate closely, as appropriate, to maximize interoperability between the Self-Defense Forces and the United States Armed Forces. The two governments also may cooperate in providing logistic support for and protecting UN and other personnel who participate in the same mission, as appropriate.

2. International Humanitarian Assistance/Disaster Relief

When the two governments conduct international humanitarian assistance/disaster relief (HA/DR) operations in response to requests from governments concerned or international organizations in the wake of large-scale humanitarian and natural disasters, the two governments will cooperate closely to provide mutual support, as appropriate, maximizing interoperability between participating Self-Defense Forces and United States Armed Forces. Examples of cooperative activities may include mutual logistic support and operational coordination, planning, and execution.

3. Maritime Security

When the two governments conduct activities for maritime security, the two governments will cooperate closely, as appropriate. Examples of cooperative activities may include efforts for: safe and secure sea lines of communication such as counter-piracy and minesweeping; non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction; and counterterrorism activities.

4. Partner Capacity Building

Proactive cooperation with partners will contribute to maintaining and enhancing regional and international peace and security. The two governments will cooperate in capacity building activities, as appropriate, by making the best use of their capabilities and experience, with the objective of strengthening the capability of partners to respond to dynamic security challenges. Examples of cooperative activities may include maritime security, military medicine, defense institution building, and improved force readiness for HA/DR or peacekeeping operations.

5. Noncombatant Evacuation Operations

In circumstances when international action is required for the evacuation of noncombatants, the two governments will utilize, as appropriate, all possible avenues including diplomatic efforts to ensure the safety of noncombatants, including those who are Japanese or U.S. nationals.

6. Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance

When the two governments participate in international activities, the Self-Defense Forces and the United States Armed Forces will cooperate in ISR activities, as appropriate, based on the respective capabilities and availability of their assets.

7. Training and Exercises

In order to enhance the effectiveness of international activities, the Self-Defense Forces and the United States Armed Forces will conduct and participate in joint training and exercises, as appropriate, to strengthen interoperability, sustainability, and readiness. The two governments also will continue to pursue opportunities to work with partners in training and exercises to contribute to enhancing interoperability with the Alliance and the development of common tactics, techniques, and procedures.

8. Logistic support

When participating in international activities, the two governments will cooperate to provide mutual logistic support. The Government of Japan will provide logistic support where appropriate, subject to Japanese laws and regulations.

B. Trilateral and Multilateral Cooperation

The two governments will promote and improve trilateral and multilateral security and defense cooperation. In particular, the two governments will reinforce efforts and seek additional opportunities to cooperate with regional and other partners, as well as international organizations.
The two governments also will work together to strengthen regional and international institutions with a view to promoting cooperation based upon international law and standards.

. Space and Cyberspace Cooperation

A. Cooperation on Space

Recognizing the security aspects of the space domain, the two governments will maintain and strengthen their partnership to secure the responsible, peaceful, and safe use of space.

As part of such efforts, the two governments will ensure the resiliency of their space systems and enhance space situational awareness cooperation. The two governments will provide mutual support, as appropriate, to establish and improve capabilities and will share information about actions and events that might affect the safety and stability of the space domain and impede its use. The two governments also will share information to address emerging threats against space systems and will pursue opportunities for cooperation in maritime domain awareness and in space-related equipment and technology that will strengthen capabilities and resiliency of the space systems, including hosted payloads.

To accomplish their missions effectively and efficiently, the Self-Defense Forces and the United States Armed Forces will continue to cooperate and to contribute to whole-of-government efforts in utilizing space in such areas as: early-warning; ISR; positioning, navigation, and timing; space situational awareness; meteorological observation; command, control, and communications; and ensuring the resiliency of relevant space systems that are critical for mission assurance. In cases where their space systems are threatened, the Self-Defense Forces and the United States Armed Forces will cooperate, as appropriate, in mitigating risk and preventing damage. If damage occurs, they will cooperate, as appropriate, in reconstituting relevant capabilities.

B. Cooperation on Cyberspace

To help ensure the safe and stable use of cyberspace, the two governments will share information on threats and vulnerabilities in cyberspace in a timely and routine manner, as appropriate. The two governments also will share, as appropriate, information on the development of various capabilities in cyberspace, including the exchange of best practices on training and education. The two governments will cooperate to protect critical infrastructure and the services upon which the Self-Defense Forces and the United States Armed Forces depend to accomplish their missions, including through information sharing with the private sector, as appropriate.

The Self-Defense Forces and the United States Armed Forces will:

  • • maintain a posture to monitor their respective networks and systems;
  • • share expertise and conduct educational exchanges in cybersecurity;
  • • ensure resiliency of their respective networks and systems to achieve mission assurance;
  • • contribute to whole-of-government efforts to improve cybersecurity; and
  • • conduct bilateral exercises to ensure effective cooperation for cybersecurity in all situations from peacetime to contingencies.

In the event of cyber incidents against Japan, including those against critical infrastructure and services utilized by the Self-Defense Forces and the United States Armed Forces in Japan, Japan will have primary responsibility to respond, and based on close bilateral coordination, the United States will provide appropriate support to Japan. The two governments also will share relevant information expeditiously and appropriately. In the event of serious cyber incidents that affect the security of Japan, including those that take place when Japan is under an armed attack, the two governments will consult closely and take appropriate cooperative actions to respond.

. Bilateral Enterprise

The two governments will develop and enhance the following areas as a foundation of security and defense cooperation, in order to improve further the effectiveness of bilateral cooperation:

A. Defense Equipment and Technology Cooperation

In order to enhance interoperability and to promote efficient acquisition and maintenance, the two governments will:

  • • cooperate in joint research, development, production, and test and evaluation of equipment and in mutual provision of components of common equipment and services;
  • • strengthen the basis to repair and maintain common equipment for mutual efficiency and readiness;
  • • facilitate reciprocal defense procurement to enhance efficient acquisition, interoperability, and defense equipment and technology cooperation; and
  • • explore opportunities for cooperation with partners on defense equipment and technology.

B. Intelligence Cooperation and Information Security

  • • Recognizing that common situational awareness is essential, the two governments will enhance intelligence cooperation and information sharing at all levels, including the national strategic level.
  • • In order to enable robust intelligence cooperation and information sharing, the two governments will continue to promote cooperation in strengthening policies, practices, and procedures related to the protection of classified information.
  • • The two governments also will explore opportunities for cooperation with partners on information sharing.

C. Educational and Research Exchanges

Recognizing the importance of intellectual cooperation concerning security and defense, the two governments will deepen exchanges of members of relevant organizations and strengthen communication between each side's research and educational institutions. Such efforts will serve as the enduring foundation for security and defense officials to share their knowledge and reinforce cooperation.

. Processes for Review

The SCC, assisted by an appropriate subordinate body, will regularly evaluate whether the Guidelines remain adequate in light of the evolving circumstances. The two governments will update the Guidelines in a timely and appropriate manner when changes in situations relevant to the Japan-U.S. Alliance relationship occur and if deemed necessary in view of the circumstances at that time.

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