Japan Ministry of Defense


Japan Defense Focus No.14



Meeting with Foreign Defense Leaders in Singapore

On May 30, Defense Minister Yasukazu Hamada met with Defense Ministers and foreign officials at the 8th IISS Asia Security Summit to discuss issues, such as defense exchanges and the response to the nuclear test by North Korea.

Japan-Viet Nam Defense Ministerial Meeting (with Viet Nam's Minister of National Defense Phung Quang Thanh)

The two ministers highly assessed the progress of defense exchanges such as high-level talks and agreed to formulate a memorandum to clarify the future direction on defense exchanges. The ministers also pledged to facilitate official visits as well as exchanges in education and other fields.

Japan-Australia Defense Ministerial Meeting (with the then Australian Minister for Defence Joel Fitzgibbon)

Minister Hamada explained Japan's position on the nuclear test by North Korea, and the two ministers concurred to deal with the issue together. They also concurred to accelerate the studies on logistics cooperation, expand joint training, and strengthen trilateral cooperation between Japan, Australia and the United States, and exchanges views on the Defence White Paper of Australia. The Ministers presented their respective measures against the piracy off the coast of Somalia and in the Gulf of Aden and confirmed that the issue provided an opportunity for the international society to work together.

Japan-Mongolia Defense Ministerial Meeting (with Mongolian Minister for Defense Luvsanvandan Bold)

The Mongolian Minister for Defense stated that Mongolia was prepared to address the issue of the nuclear test by North Korea. The two ministers agreed to continue discussions on North Korea and other issues while promoting defense exchanges including the acceptance of Mongolian students at the Japanese National Defense Academy.

Japan-US Defense Ministerial Talks (with U.S. Secretary of Defense, Robert Gates)

With regard to the response to North Korea, Secretary of Defense Robert Gates stated that the United States was unable to accept North Korea as a nuclear power and would like to strengthen extended deterrence and the bilateral cooperation between Japan and the U.S. or the trilateral cooperation. He stressed the importance of cooperation with China and Russia on the issue, given the influence of those two nations on North Korea.

Secretary of Defense Gates explained two paths for dealing with North Korea: the first one was diplomatic efforts. The other one was the strengthening of extended deterrence and defensive measures such as MD. Minister Hamada stated that Japan was basically in agreement with what Secretary Gates had said and called for continuing talks on responses in the future to include a range of various options. He noted that a number of scenarios was possible with regards to the future of North Korea, and called for cooperation in various aspects including exchange of information. Regarding the agreement on the relocation of marines from Okinawa to Guam which will be put into force, Minister Hamada called for close coordination at the working level to facilitate it in the implementation phase.

When asked by Minister Hamada about the U.S. position on the F-X fighter, Secretary of Defense Gates cited the difficulty of modifying the Obey Amendment. Minister Hamada called for more working-level discussions for provision of necessary information, given the lack of information and the time restraints, in response to which Secretary of Defense Gates promised the fullest possible cooperation.

Japan-Republic of Korea-United States Defense Leaders Hold Trilateral Meeting (with ROK Minister of National Defense Lee Sanghee, and U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates)

Japanese Defense Minister Yasukazu Hamada, ROK Minister of National Defense Lee Sanghee, and U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates strongly condemned North Korea's recent actions, particularly its claimed nuclear test and its Missile Launches. They shared the view that these actions were a clear violation of United Nations Security Council resolutions as well as North Korea's commitments through the Six-Party Talks, and were a serious threat to the Korean Peninsula and regional and international security. The Ministers and the Secretary firmly reiterated the importance of a strong, unified approach and called on North Korea to comply with its obligations, abandon its nuclear and ballistic missile programs, and return to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT). They pledged continued close cooperation among their governments, as well as together with China, Russia, and the international community. Secretary Gates and Minister Hamada welcomed the positive development of the ROK government's endorsement of the Proliferation Security Initiative (PSI).

The three defense chiefs discussed the importance of trilateral cooperation, based on common values and shared security interests, and their nations' cooperative efforts to contribute to peace and stability in the region and around the world. The Secretary expressed his appreciation to Japan and the ROK for their contributions to Afghanistan and Pakistan, and discussed the new U.S. strategy, including civil-military coordination, for this critical part of the world. The two Ministers welcomed this effort and acknowledged the importance of the international community's involvement in Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Additionally, the leaders recognized the three countries' meaningful achievement in anti-piracy operations off the coast of Somalia and in the Gulf of Aden, and acknowledged the importance of their close cooperation, along with other countries, on this effort in the future. They expressed their hope that these efforts would lead to further trilateral cooperation, which they pledged to pursue through the Defense Trilateral Talks and other fora.

Japan-Singapore Defense Ministerial Meeting (with Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Defence Teo Chee Hean)

Defense Minister Hamada appreciated Singapore's efforts at the Shangri-La Dialogue. The two ministers highly evaluated the current status of defense exchanges and concurred to formulate the memorandum on defense exchanges as a means of further promoting the exchanges. Defense Minister Teo appreciated Japan's efforts for the replenishment support activities in the Indian Ocean and anti-piracy measures off the coast of Somalia and in the Gulf of Aden. The two ministers also concurred to work together on maritime security.

Courtesy visit to Chairman Wu Bangguo of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress and Japan-China Defense Talks with Minister of Defense Liang Guanglie

Minister of Defense Hamada and Wu , Chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress.

Defense Minister Hamada made a courtesy visit to and had talks with Chairman Wu Bangguo of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress during a visit to China on March 20. Minister Hamada emphasized the importance of utilizing the Six Party Talks to solve various pending issues related to North Korea in a comprehensive manner. Chairman Wu stated that peace and stability in the Korean peninsula was the common interest of Japan and China, and called for all parties to adopt a broader perspective to resolve the matter calmly.

Minister Hamada, at his meeting with Minister for Defense Liang Guanglie, stressed the importance of stronger bilateral relations to promote peace, stability and development of the Asia-Pacific region and the world, and expressed his wish to enhance mutual understanding and trust between the defense authorities, and have frank, open discussions on defense policy and other things.

Although Minister Hamada appreciated China's efforts to improve the transparency of the Defense White Paper, he indicated that disclosure of information on detailed breakdowns of defense budgets and the current status of military build up would be important for peace and stability in the region and for the China's interest. He also raised concerns over uncertain purposes of the recent increase in activities of Chinese Navy and Air Force in the vicinity of Japan, and asked China's view on possession of an aircraft carrier.

Defense Minister Liang explained that China's defense policy was defense oriented and described China's efforts to improve transparency through publication of the Defense White Paper and details of the defense budget. He reassured Minister Hamada that the activities of the Chinese Navy and Air Force were normal training exercises and patrols. Regarding the aircraft carrier, Defense Minister Liang explained that China has no reason not to possess an aircraft carrier forever, but they need to make various considerations to possess aircraft carrier. He also described China's efforts for anti-piracy measures off the coast of Somalia and in the Gulf of Aden, and stated that they were prepared to make working-level consultations on China-Japan cooperation in such areas. In response, Minister Hamada appreciated China's contribution to the anti-piracy measures and called for further information exchanges.

Minister Hamada presented Japan's position on North Korea, particularly its recent missile-related activities. Defense Minister Liang emphasized the need for all parties to deal with this issue in a calm manner, and stated that it was the best possible outcome that North Korea would not launch any missile.

The two Ministers agreed to promote defense exchanges in various levels including high-level and working-level talks, and to proceed with cooperation and dialogue on issues such as PKO, disaster relief operations and anti-piracy measures. They also agreed on Defense Minister Liang's visit to Japan within this year.

Japan-Korea Defense Ministerial Meeting with ROK Minister of National Defense Lee Sang-hee

On April 23, Defense Minister Hamada met with his ROK counterpart Lee Sang-hee during his visit to Japan.

Minister Hamada mentioned the need to strengthen bilateral relationship by taking this opportunity, particularly in order to response to the North Korea's Missile Launch. Minister Lee pledged to build closer ties toward the future and work with Japan to contribute to world peace.

On the issue of the North Korea's Missile Launch in April, the two ministers highly evaluated Japan-Korea cooperation as well as the close cooperation between Japan and the United States and between Japan and Korea. Recognizing many challenges shared by the three nations, particularly with respect to the missile issue, two ministers concurred on the necessity for developing a Japan-ROK-U.S. trilateral framework. Two ministers further concurred to work toward the total elimination of nuclear issue of North Korea through the Six Party Talks with maintaining coordination between Japan and ROK and among Japan, ROK and the United States.

Minister Lee emphasized the importance of efforts for implementating defense exchanges based on the Memorandum of Intent regarding Defense Exchanges between the Ministry of Defense of Japan and the Ministry of National Defense of ROK. The two ministers concurred to build a forward-looking relationship in the spirit of the joint press conference by the Japan-ROK leaders in April 2008. They also concurred to continue to deepen mutual understanding of and cooperate with each other in the international peace cooperation activities. Two ministers further concurred to promote cooperate relationships at the field level in overseas operations.

Meeting with U.S. Secretary of Defense Gates at U.S. DoD

Meeting between Minister of Defense Hamada and Secretary of Defense Gates.

Defense Minister Yasukazu Hamada met with U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates on May 1 at the U.S. Department of Defense.

On the issue of North Korea's Missile Launch, Secretary of Defense Gates stated that both countries were able to cooperate in their close coordination prior to the launch and their united response at the United Nations and that it was important to continue cooperation in military area. Defense Minister Hamada said that Japan and the U.S. faced a lot of challenges including the response to North Korea and that high-level consultations were necessary to deal with these challenges smoothly.

Defense Minister Hamada stated that ministerial talks like this contributed to the strengthening the Japan-U.S. alliance which was directed by Prime Minister Taro Aso. Meanwhile, Defense Secretary Gates remarked that Japan-U.S. defense relations were sound and that he reaffirmed the United States' commitments to extended deterrence for Japan and the Japan-US Security Treaty.

Concerning the realignment of U.S. forces in Japan, Secretary of Defense Gates stated that he welcomed that the agreement regarding the relocation of U.S. Marines stationed in Okinawa to Guam had been passed by the House of Representatives. Defense Minister Hamada stated that our continued efforts were required to solve Okinawa issues and that he would continue to work on securing the budget and proceeding with the realignment.

Secretary of Defense Gates expressed his desire to continue the bilateral dialogue in the process of formulating the Quadrennial Defense Review, while Defense Minister Hamada said that he hoped to hold ministerial-level discussions on the future vision of the Japan-U.S. alliance to ensure smooth discussions in specific areas.

Secretary of Defense Gates said that he welcomed Japan's leadership on the supports for Afghanistan and Pakistan and anti-piracy measures. Defense Minister Hamada stated that he would do what he could do but that there were restrictions on the dispatch of Japan's Self Defense Force and remarked that he was making efforts to dispatch P-3C patrol aircraft off the coast of Somalia around the end of May, to which Secretary of Defense Gates responded by saying that he would welcome such a move.

On the issue of F-X fighter aircraft, Secretary of Defense Gates explained the situation in the U.S. Congress while Defense Minister Hamada remarked that Japan needed to adopt aircraft with reliable air defense capabilities.


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