Defense Minister Kitazawa and Minister of Defense Thanh at Defense Ministerial Meeting.
JDF Ministry of Defense Japan Defense Focus The Latest News on the Ministry of Defense and Self-Defense Forces
No.20 JANUARY 2011

Defense Minister Kitazawa and Minister of Defense Thanh at Defense Ministerial Meeting.


On October 11, Defense Minister Kitazawa who visited Vietnam held bilateral meetings with the defense ministers of the countries participating in the ASEAN Defense Ministers’ Meeting Plus (ADMM-Plus). At the bilateral meetings, Defense Minister Kitazawa explained Japan’s stance over the Senkaku Islands issue, and exchanged the views on regional situation and the promotion of defense cooperation/exchanges. The Defense Ministers of Japan and China had an informal talk.

Japan–US Defense Ministerial Meeting

Defense Minister Kitazawa and Minister of Defence Teo at Defense Ministerial Meeting.
Defense Minister Kitazawa and U.S. Defense Secretary Gates at Defense Ministerial Meeting.

Defense Minister Kitazawa explained the Japan’s response to the collision incident off the coast of the Senkaku Islands by a Chinese fishing boat was made properly in accordance with Japanese Law, and expressed his gratitude for the recent remarks by U.S. Defense Secretary Gates that demonstrated a clear stance on the application of Article 5 of the Japan–US Security Treaty to the contingencies surrounding the Senkaku Islands. Defense Secretary Gates stated that it is important to discuss the matter with countries taking into account China’s expanding maritime activities. The Minister and the Secretary agreed that close cooperation and collaboration between Japan and the U.S. is essential.

Defense Minister and Defense Secretary exchanged their opinions on the importance of deepening the Japan–US alliance, including strengthening of cooperation between the two countries under normal circumstances. Defense Minister Kitazawa stated that it was important to present the direction of deepening the bilateral cooperation in the field of security to the U.S. President Obama during his visit to Japan.

Regarding the relocation of Futenma Air Station, and U.S. Marine Corps in Okinawa to Guam, the Minister and the Secretary exchanged views on the internal situations in both Japan and the U.S., and agreed that it is important to steadily proceed these relocations. Defense Minister Kitazawa expressed his determination to implement the "2+2" Joint Statement issued in May. And the Defense Minister explained that it is necessary to get an understanding from the local communities by promoting measures to reduce the burden on Okinawa to ensure the relocation. In addition, both Japan and the U.S. sides agreed to make a further study of the shared/joint use of facilities between the two countries.

Regarding Host-nation support (HNS), Defense Minister Kitazawa explained the gist of the policy contest, and they agreed that it was important for both governments to hold talks in the future to make agreement as soon as possible to contribute to the alliance. Concerning the Three Principles on Arms Exports, Mr. Kitazawa expressed his intention as Defense Minister to consider revision of the three principles in the review of the National Defense Program Guidelines. Defense Secretary Gates agreed to Minister Kitazawa’s intension in a proactive manner. He also expressed his gratitude for Japan’s support such as financial aid in Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Japan–China Defense Ministerial Talk

Minister of National Defense Liang expressed his appreciation for the hospitality extended by Japan during his visit to Japan last year, and noted that recent Japan–China ties were strained by the Senkaku Islands issue. Defense Minister Kitazawa stated that Japan had already expressed its position on the issue, and said that discussing this matter here was counterproductive, so he would like to refrain from making further discussion on this.

The two sides agreed that two countries should return to the starting point and promote the "Mutually Beneficial Relationship Based on Common Strategic Interests". In addition, they also confirmed that promotion of the relationship would contribute to the regional peace and stability as well as basic interests for the people of both countries.

They reached agreement on that, while there is a difference of opinions, the both sides will resolve problems through dialogue and cooperation. Defense Minister Liang stated that he would welcome Defense Minister Kitazawa’s visit to China at a mutually convenient time after the “Mutually Beneficial Relationship Based on Common Strategic Interests” resumed.

They also agreed the need to swiftly establish a maritime communication mechanism between the defense authorities. Defense Minister Kitazawa stated that it was important that Japanese and Chinese defense authorities proceed the dialogue calmly and further deepen their mutual understanding, and that moving forward, Japan would like to continue holding dialogues as a friend of China. In response, Defense Minister Liang stated that they have an important responsibility to develop the two countries’ friendship and that he hopes Japan–China defense exchanges would continue to develop.

Japan–Singapore Defense Ministerial Meeting

Defense Minister Kitazawa and Minister of Defence Teo at Defense Ministerial Meeting.
Defense Minister Kitazawa and Minister of Defence Teo at Defense Ministerial Meeting.

Defense Minister Kitazawa had a ministerial meeting with Minister for Defence Teo, Singapore. Defense Minister Kitazawa was briefed on the process of establishment of the ASEAN Defense Ministers’ Meeting Plus (ADMM-Plus), and received words of welcome for the participation of the "Plus countries" including Japan. Defense Minister Kitazawa expressed his appreciation for the efforts which ASEAN countries, including Singapore, had made to establish the ADMM-Plus, and expressed his hope that this framework would play a core role in the security of the region.

Japan–Australia Defense Ministerial Meeting

Defense Minister Kitazawa and Defence Minister Smith at Defense Ministerial Meeting.
Defense Minister Kitazawa and Defence Minister Smith at Defense Ministerial Meeting.

Defense Minister Kitazawa had a ministerial meeting with Defence Minister Smith of Australia and explained that concerning the Japan–Australia Acquisition and Cross-servicing Agreement (ACSA), the Government of Japan planned to present the treaty and relevant domestic laws to the extraordinary session of the Diet. The two Ministers shared the view that it was important that the defense cooperation would move on to the implementation phase, including the utilization of the ACSA in such areas as joint exercises, humanitarian assistance/disaster relief activities and so on.

Japan–Thailand Defense Ministerial Meeting

Defense Minister Kitazawa and Defence Minister General Prawit at Defense Ministerial Meeting.
Defense Minister Kitazawa and Defence Minister General Prawit at Defense Ministerial Meeting.

Defense Minister Kitazawa and Defence Minister General Prawit of Thailand had a ministerial meeting. The Defense Ministers agreed to further promote Japan–Thailand defense cooperation and to enhance assistance and cooperation between the MSDF and the Royal Thai Navy in the anti-piracy operations off the coast of Somalia, following Thailand’ s dispatch of naval vessels to the waters in September 2010.

Japan–Indonesia Defense Ministerial Meeting

Defense Minister Kitazawa and Minister of Defence Dr. Purnomo at Defense Ministerial Meeting.
Defense Minister Kitazawa and Minister of Defence Dr. Purnomo at Defense Ministerial Meeting.

Defense Minister Kitazawa had ministerial a meeting with Minister of Defense Dr. Purnomo of Indonesia and exchanged views on the issue of maritime security and the promotion of Japan–Indonesia defense exchanges. Both Defense Ministers agreed to continue closer cooperation on the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) Disaster Relief Exercise in March 2011 that will be jointly chaired by Japan and Indonesia.

Japan–Vietnam Defense Ministerial Meeting

Defense Minister Kitazawa had a ministerial meeting with Minister of Defense Thanh of Vietnam. Defense Minister Kitazawa expressed his appreciation for the support during the port call of MSDF’s vessel in Vietnam at Pacific Partnership 2010 in June. Minister Thanh responded that he welcomed the port call by the MSDF’s vessel.

Defense Minister Kitazawa appreciated Vietnam’s efforts as the chair country in the establishment of ADMM-Plus and expressed his expectation that this framework would play a core role in the security cooperation in the region. Defense Minister Kitazawa said that he would continue to actively engage in capacity building efforts in non-traditional security areas such as humanitarian assistance, disaster relief, and removal of landmines and bomb disposal.Defense Minister Thanh expressed his appreciation for Japan’s effort for the establishment of ADMM-Plus, and urged Japan’s cooperation with the bomb disposal.

Defense Minister Kitazawa explained Japan’s position on the Senkaku Islands issue, and Defence Minister Thanh stated that a peaceful and friendly resolution is critical based on international law.

And furthermore, Defence Minister Thanh expressed his appreciation for the education and training financial benefits offered to Vietnamese students studying in Japan. The two Defense Ministers shared the view that it was important for both countries to enhance defense exchanges at all levels, in line with a strategic partnership through mutual visits,etc.

Parliamentary Senior Vice-Minister of Defense Attends ASEAN Defense Ministers’ Meeting Plus

Parliamentary Senior Vice-Minister of Defense Azumi in Vietnam (third from left)
Parliamentary Senior Vice-Minister of Defense Azumi in Vietnam (third from left)

On October 12, the First ASEAN Defense Ministers’ Meeting Plus (ADMM-Plus) was held in Hanoi, Vietnam. The Meeting was attended by ten ASEAN member countries and eight non-ASEAN member countries.

At the Meeting chaired by Vietnam, defense ministers and other representatives from the participating countries exchanged views on such topics as the security environment of the region and the cooperation paradigm in the region. On behalf of the Japan’s Ministry of Defense, Parliamentary Senior Vice-Minister of Defense Azumi attended the meeting.

The Parliamentary Senior Vice-Minister of Defense expressed his respects to the ASEAN countries to hold the Meeting and delivered a speech on the security environment of the region, the role of ADMM-Plus, and Japan’s initiatives.

At the meeting, participants confirmed to begin improving cooperation in the areas of humanitarian assistance, disaster relief, maritime security, counter-terrorism, defense medicine, and peacekeeping activities, and taking up various issues in the traditional and non-traditional field.

In addition, many participating countries wished for a peaceful resolution of the maritime disputes, including the South China Sea issue, through dialogue and coordination, in conformity with the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea (DOC) and international law, including the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).

After the Meeting, the Ha Noi Joint Declaration which welcomed the establishment of the ADMM-Plus and affirmed the commitment of the ADMM-Plus member countries to enhance security cooperation in the region was signed.

Key points of the Declaration

  1. To position the ADMM-Plus as the highest ministerial defense and security consultative and cooperative mechanism
  2. To strengthen regional defense and security cooperation through capacity building and other means
  3. To establish a senior officials’ meeting
  4. To establish an Expert Working Group for each sector, such as humanitarian assistance and disaster relief

Parliamentary Senior Vice-Minister’s Courtesy Call on Secretary of National Defense of the Philippines

Parliamentary Senior Vice-Minister of Defense Azumi paid a courtesy call on Secretary of National Defense Gazmin of the Philippines. The Senior Defense Vice-Minister Azumi and Defense Secretary Gazmin exchanged views on the regional situation, and agreed the view that both countries need to promote Japan–Philippines defense cooperation and to cooperate on their common security challenges in such areas as maritime security, humanitarian assistance, and dispatch of disaster relief teams.

Parliamentary Senior Vice-Minister’s Courtesy Call on Minister of National Defense of Cambodia

Parliamentary Senior Vice-Minister of Defense Azumi paid a courtesy call on Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of National Defense Tea Banh of Cambodia. Parliamentary Senior Vice-Minister Azumi expressed his appreciation for Cambodia’s contribution to promote world peace, as Cambodia has recovered from civil war and is now participating in PKO operations, and other activities. In addition, Senior Defense Vice-Minister Azumi and Defense Minister Banh agreed to promote defense exchanges at every level between the two countries.

Japan–New Zealand Defense Ministerial Meeting

Defense Minister Kitazawa met Defence Minister Mapp at Ministry of Defense
Defense Minister Kitazawa met Defence Minister Mapp at Ministry of Defense

On October 13, Defense Minister Kitazawa held a defense ministerial meeting with Defence Minister Mapp of New Zealand at the Ministry of Defense. Minister Kitazawa stated that Japan and New Zealand should cooperate closely, promoting their mutual understanding and exchange of views on the regional situation.

Defense Minister Kitazawa explained Japan’s position on the collision incident involving a Chinese fishing boat off the coast of the Senkaku Islands, and expressed concerns on China’s lack of military transparency and increasing military activities and others. Defence Minister Mapp stated that he understood the position of Japan, and said that it was important to resolve the issues of Senkaku Islands, East China Sea, and South China Sea through dialogue in conformity with international law.

Japan–Mongolia Defense Ministerial Meeting

Defense Minister Kitazawa and Defense Minister Bold shaking hands
Defense Minister Kitazawa and Defense Minister Bold shaking hands

On November 19, Defense Minister Kitazawa met with Defense Minister Bold of Mongolia, who was accompanying the Mongolian President on his visit to Japan, at the Ministry of Defense. Defense Minister Bold stated that he wished to build up a strategic relation between the two countries with this visit to Japan as a turning point. Furthermore, he extended an invitation to Minister Kitazawa to visit Mongolia. Defense Minister Kitazawa expressed his appreciation for the invitation.

Defense Minister Bold appreciated that the National Defense Academy and other institutions had accepted 34 Mongolian students so far, and made a request for more students to be accepted in the future. Defense Minister Kitazawa stated that Japan would positively consider Mongolia’s request. The two Ministers shared the view on the importance of developing defense exchanges through personnel exchanges. In addition, they concurred on the importance of strengthening cooperation on UN PKO and other activities.

Parliamentary Senior Vice-Minister of Defense visits Guam

 Parliamentary Senior Vice-Minister of Defense Azumi visiting the site in Guam
Parliamentary Senior Vice-Minister of Defense Azumi visiting the site in Guam

On November 6, Parliamentary Senior Vice-Minister of Defense Jun Azumi visited Guam to observe the current status on the projects related to the relocation of US Marines in Okinawa to Guam. After being briefed from the US side at Naval Base on the present state of situation in Guam, he made a tour of facilities including Andersen Air Force Base, the Finegayan area and Northern District Wastewater Treatment Plants. The Senior Vice-Minister stated that there was an urgent need to develop infrastructure for the relocation of the Marines in Okinawa and that he observed its progress, and also stated that both Japanese and US governments would continue their efforts to relocate the Marines by 2014, with taking into consideration the environmental impact assessment.

-PAGE TOP-