MEETING WITH FOREIGN LEADERS | JDF - Japan Defense Focus (No.16) | Japan Ministry of Defense

Japan Ministry of Defense


Japan Defense Focus No.16



Meeting between Japan Defense Minister and U.S. Defense Secretary

Defense Minister Kitazawa and Secretary of Defense Gates
Defense Minister Kitazawa and Secretary of Defense Gates

On October 21, Minister of Defense Toshimi Kitazawa had a Defense Ministers Meeting with the U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates at the Ministry of Defense in Japan.

Minister Kitazawa stated that it was necessary to continue making a consistent effort in order to maintain and improve the confidence and effectiveness of the Japan-U.S. alliance. He also expressed a desire to move forward with the study of specific cooperative items in the lead up to the 50th anniversary of the revision of the Japan-U.S. Security Treaty in 2010.

In response, Secretary Gates stated that the Japan-U.S. Alliance was the cornerstone of U.S. policy in Northeast Asia and that although both countries were facing a complex state of affairs in the region, it was an opportunity to strengthen the Japan-U.S. defense cooperation. Mentioning his understanding of the importance of the realignment of U.S. forces, Minister Kitazawa stated that the relocation and return of Futenma Air Station should be achieved as soon as possible, and explained the political situation in Japan.

Secretary Gates stated that, while showing his understanding of the policy review by the new administration, the U.S. side considered that the present Futenma Replacement Facility (FRF) plan was the best and only viable solution. Secretary Gates then stated that force consolidation and land returns in Okinawa could not be achieved without FRF progress.

With regard to Host Nation Support (HNS), Minister Kitazawa stated that it was necessary to ensure transparency in the comprehensive review of HNS in order to gain public understanding, and requested the U.S. side’s cooperation. Referring to the importance of HNS, Secretary Gates stated that the U.S. would like to cooperate with Japan as much as possible.

Regarding the National Defense Program Guidelines (NDPG), Minister Kitazawa explained that the Government of Japan would examine the NDPG thoroughly over the coming year. Secretary Gates stated that the U.S. side continued to work on the Quadrennial Defense Review (QDR) and had not reached a conclusion yet; however, relations with allied and partner countries would be highlighted in QDR and the U.S.-Japan alliance would continue to play a central role in U.S. security policy in the Asia region.

Minister Kitazawa stated that the Government of Japan would continue consulting internally over support measures for Afghanistan while making adequate study of the security situation in Afghanistan.

Secretary Gates expressed his gratitude for Japan’s support for Afghanistan and stated that it should be a decision of the Government of Japan whether to continue refueling missions by the JSDF in Indian Ocean or not.

Secretary Gates stated any investigation into a secret agreement that allows U.S. nuclear weapons to pass through Japan should have no adverse impact on the Japan-U.S. relationship.


Meeting of Defense Ministers of Japan and India

Defense Minister Kitazawa and Minister of Defence Antony
Defense Minister Kitazawa and Minister of Defence Antony

On November 9, the Minister of Defense of Japan, Toshimi Kitazawa, met with the Minister of Defence of the Republic of India A. K. Antony, to discuss defense exchanges and cooperation between Japan and India, as well as regional security situations.

The two Ministers emphasized that the two countries have deepened the Strategic and Global Partnership since 2006 and agreed to advance defense cooperation and exchanges between Japan and India. Minister Antony expressed his expectation to develop an Action Plan with specific measures to advance security cooperation at an early date. The two Ministers committed to accelerate bilateral discussions on various maesures in order to further promote defense exchanges and cooperation.

Minister Antony invited Minister Kitazawa to visit India of which Minister Kitazawa expressed his desire for the realization.

The two Ministers reached the same recognition to realize the visit of the Administrative Vice-Minister of Defense of Japan to India in early 2010. They also shared the view to strengthen cooperative relations at a range of levels and in a variety of levels and fields including joint exercises; navy-to-navy and ground-to-ground staff talks; exchanges of students and researchers; and cooperation in the field of maritime security, peace-keeping and peace-building, disaster relief, and anti-terrorism.


Meeting of Defense Ministers of Japan and China

Defense Minister Kitazawa and Minister of National Defense Liang Guanglie
Defense Minister Kitazawa and Minister of National Defense Liang Guanglie

The Minister of Defense of Japan Toshimi Kitazawa met with his Chinese counterpart, Minister of National Defense Liang Guanglie, on November 27 to discuss their defense policies, defense exchanges and regional security situations.

Minister Kitazawa outlined the basic principles of Japanese defense policy as well as the revision of the National Defense Program Guidelines, anti terrorism, PKO and anti-piracy measures.

Defense Minister Guanglie described his country’s defense policy as defensive one for the purpose of peaceful development and transition of its defense expenditure. He stressed a relative aspect of the transparency of military affairs, on one hand, emphasizing the importance of transparency of strategic intent on the other.

Minister Kitazawa acknowledged China’s efforts to enhance the transparency of its national defense — for instance, by increasing the frequency of briefings on the military power to foreign observers — but called for further transparency in the light of the ongoing growth in defense spending, particularly with respect to: (1) details of arms and equipment inventories; (2) procurement targets and records of major equipments; (3) formation and deployment of the major units; and (4) detailed budget breakdowns. When Minister Kitazawa asked about China’s principles on the possession of aircraft carriers, Minister Guanglie replied that the possession of aircraft carriers should be determined in comprehensive consideration of various factors including economic development, the level of the shipbuilding, and security factor.

Minister Kitazawa described the nuclear testing and ballistic missile developments by North Korea as a grave threat to the peace and security of Northeast Asia and the international community, and totally unacceptable. Minister Guanglie said that the denuclearization and nuclear non-proliferation in North Korea are also China’s interests, and reiterated the need for a peaceful solution to the issue through dialogue. To this end, Minister Guanglie expressed his expectation for the development of bilateral and multilateral talks among the nations concerned.

The two Ministers agreed to endeavor at strengthening mutual understanding and trust through consistent and stable defense exchanges while comprehensively promoting the strategic, reciprocal relationship between the two nations.

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