JDF JapanDefenseFocus No.102 August 2018

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Japan-U.S. Defense Ministerial Meeting

Japan-U.S. Defense Ministerial Meeting

On June 29th, Minister of Defense Onodera and the U.S. Secretary of Defense Mattis held the Japan-U.S. Defense Ministerial meeting in the Ministry of Defense (MOD).

1. North Korea

The Ministers, taking into account the recent situations regarding the issues of North Korea, closely compared and adjusted the defense agencies’ understandings and policy on future response against North Korea issues.
The Ministers agreed that, complying with the United Nations Security Council Resolutions (UNSCRs), they will work together to realize complete, verifiable and irreversible dismantlement of all of its weapons of mass destruction including biological and chemical weapons and ballistic missiles of all ranges in coordination with the international community, and confirmed that Japan and the U.S. continue to counter illegal ship-to-ship transfers of goods by North Korea in coordination with their partner countries. Secretary Mattis explained the suspension of U.S.-ROK joint military exercises, and the Ministers reaffirmed that neither withdrawal nor reduction of the U.S. Forces in Korea has been considered, and reconfirmed the importance of the deterrent capability of regional U.S. Forces including U.S. Forces Korea. He also expressed renewed U.S. commitments to defend Japan, and the Ministers agreed to proceed with the reinforcement of the alliance’s deterrence and response capability including conducting Japan-U.S. joint exercises steadily, as planned. The Ministers agreed that they will continue to maintain a close channel of communication to take concerted actions as an alliance in response to every situation.

2. Regional affairs

The Ministers exchanged their views based on Secretary Mattis’s visit to China, the Ministers reconfirmed that Article 5 of the Japan-U.S. Security Treaty applies to the Senkaku Islands, and that they would oppose any unilateral actions which attempt to undermine Japan’s administration of the islands, and agreed to continue to closely watch on the situations in the East China Sea, and to cooperate with each other for the peace and stability.

The Ministers also confirmed the importance to collaborate towards consolidating basic principles such as rule of law and freedom of navigation.

3. Defense equipment and technology cooperation

The Ministers welcomed the progress and improvements being made in challenges regarding Foreign Military Sales (FMS), and the Ministers also confirmed the U.S. will continue to work to help Japan achieve efficient procurement.

4. The U.S. Forces in Japan

The Ministers agreed to closely work towards the steady implementation of the realignment of the U.S. Forces in Japan, and Minister Onodera requested to ensure the safe operations of the U.S. Forces.

Japan-U.S. Defense Ministerial Meeting
Japan-U.S. Defense Ministerial Meeting
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