JDF JapanDefenseFocus No.101 July 2018

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Japan-U.S. Defense Ministerial Meeting

Japan-U.S. Defense Ministerial Meeting

On May 29, Minister Onodera and Secretary Mattis held the Japan-U.S. Defense Ministerial Meeting in Hawaii.

1 North Korea

The Ministers, taking into account the recent situations regarding the issue of North Korea, closely compared and adjusted the defense agencies’ understandings and policy on future response against North Korea issues. Minister Onodera remarked that the meeting between the leaders of U.S. and North Korea should be an opportunity that leads to concrete actions to comprehensively resolve the issues of abductions, nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles of all ranges, and the Ministers confirmed that they will continue exerting pressure and sanctions, under the common principle of realizing abandonment of all weapons of mass destruction including chemical and biological weapons and ballistic missile programs in complete, verifiable and irreversible way. In light of illegal ship-to-ship transfers of goods, the Ministers welcomed measures implemented by Japan in coordination with partner countries including United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, and agreed that they will continue to take actions with the voluntary countries, and reaffirmed the importance of the deterrent capability of regional U.S. Forces including U.S. Forces Korea. Secretary Mattis expressed U.S. renewed commitment to Japanese defense, and the Ministers agreed that they will continue to maintain close communication to take concerted action as an alliance in response to any situations.

Japan-U.S. Defense Ministerial Meeting

2 Regional Affairs

The Ministers exchanged opinions on regional challenges, and in light of China’s unilateral attempts to change the status quo by force, agreed that it is important for both countries to continue to closely watch on the situations in the East China Sea, to cooperate for the peace and stability, and to be engaged in the South China Sea. The Ministers noted that China has enforced its military capability and intensified its activities in the sea and air area surrounding Japan, and also agreed to reinforce the Ally’s capability to deter and respond through enhancement of defense capability based on the close cooperation of Japan and U.S.

3 Free and Open Indo-Pacific

The Ministers reconfirmed the importance of cooperating with the allied countries and various partners to assure the Free and Open Indo-Pacific, and agreed that Japan and U.S. or Japan, U.S., and Australia proceed with coordination in the promotion of the basic principles such as rule of law, freedom of navigation, and in capacity building.

4 U.S. Forces in Japan

Minister Onodera requested efforts to ensure safe operations of U.S. Forces and cooperation in efforts to obtain consent from local communities including those in Okinawa.

The 17th IISS Asia Security Summit (Shangri-La Dialogue)

The 17th IISS Asia Security Summit (Shangri-La Dialogue)

Minister Onodera visited Singapore from June 2nd to 3rd and attended the 17th IISS Asia Security Summit (Shangri-La Dialogue). He delivered a speech in the second plenary session and also held talks with defense ministers from other countries. Next JDF issue will feature on the details.

Second Japan-ASEAN Ship Rider Cooperation Program

Second Japan-ASEAN Ship Rider Cooperation Program
Second Japan-ASEAN Ship Rider Cooperation Program

From May 10th to 15th, the second Japan-ASEAN Ship Rider Cooperation Program was conducted on JS OSUMI, starting from Indonesia and arriving in Malasia.

Based on the Vientiane Vision, a guideline for Japan-ASEAN defense cooperation, this program invites all ASEAN member states to contribute to regional stability by providing opportunities for participants to build mutual understanding and professional networks, enhance capabilities related to maritime security and share understanding of international law of the sea. It also included a seminar on humanitarian assistance and disaster relief, navigation communication exercise and LCAC boarding.

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