Japan – Italy Defense Ministerial Meeting

Welcoming ceremony for Italian Minister of Defense Di Paola
Welcoming ceremony for Italian Minister of Defense Di Paola

On June 13, Defense Minister Morimoto signed a “Statement of Intent By the Ministers of Defense of the Italian Republic and Japan” with visiting Italian Minister of Defense, Giampaolo Di Paola. The two ministers engaged in talks and exchanged opinions on defense cooperation and exchange between the two countries, among other topics.

Defense Minister Morimoto welcomed Minister of Defense Di Paola on Italian Defense Minister’s first visit to Japan, and expressed his gratitude for Italy’s assistance in the aftermath of the Great East Japan Earthquake. Minister of Defense Di Paola stated his expectations on the promotion of defense exchange through his visit to Japan.

The two ministers signed “Statement of Intent By the Ministers of Defense of the Italian Republic and Japan,” and concurred on taking this opportunity to work together toward a new phase of development in cooperation and exchange between the two countries.

They also exchanged opinions on the regional situation, including matters pertaining to Northeast Asia, North Africa, and the Middle East. They concurred on continuing to monitor the situation while keeping up talks and exchange of opinions.

The two ministers also concurred on commencing Director General-level consultations between the defense ministries (MM talks) with the aim of advancing discussions on Japan – Italy defense cooperation and exchange. In addition, they agreed that alongside with the promotion of high-level and working-level exchanges, it was important to work together on global issues such as anti-piracy measures and the non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction besides cooperation to bilateral exchanges. The Italian delegates also expressed their desire to have an information protection agreement.

During his stay, Minister of Defense Di Paola also visited the GSDF Camp Asaka.

IISS Asia Security Summit (Shangri-La Dialogue)

Parliamentary Senior Vice-Minister of Defense Watanabe delivering a speech at theIISS Asia Security Summit
Parliamentary Senior Vice-Minister of Defense Watanabe delivering a speech at theIISS Asia Security Summit

The IISS Asia Security Summit (Shangri-La Dialogue) organized by the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS: United Kingdom) is an international conference established as a forum for regional security related discussion. Every year, many delegates, including defense ministers from the Asia Pacific region, gather in Singapore for this event and discuss regional issues and defense cooperation, among other topics.

This year, the 11th Summit was convened on June 2 and 3. Parliamentary Senior Vice-Minister of Defense, Shu Watanabe, gave a speech about “Protecting Maritime Freedoms,” and talked about the Japan’s contributions in the area of maritime security, freedom of navigation, good seamanship, and practical cooperation with the respective countries, including in the area of capacity building. He also held dialogues with defense ministers of some participating countries. Besides conducting Japan – U.S. – Korea and Japan – U.S. – Australia trilateral talks, he also held separate bilateral talks with the defense ministers of Australia, Singapore, New Zealand, Indonesia, United Kingdom, and France to exchange opinions on topics such as defense cooperation and the regional situation.

Japan – U.S. – Korea Defense Ministerial Meeting

Parliamentary Senior Vice-Minister Watanabe, U.S. Defense Secretary Panetta, and Korean Minister of National Defense Kim before Japan – U.S. – Korea Defense Ministerial Meeting
Parliamentary Senior Vice-Minister Watanabe, U.S. Defense Secretary Panetta, and Korean Minister of National Defense Kim before Japan – U.S. – Korea Defense Ministerial Meeting

Parliamentary Senior Vice-Minister Watanabe, U.S. Defense Secretary Panetta, and Korean Minister of National Defense Kim shared their views on the regional security situation, including the missile-launch by North Korean, and reaffirmed the value of the trilateral defense cooperation for the regional peace and stability. They agreed to further strengthen the trilateral cooperation, working together to prevent further provocative acts by North Korea. Moreover, they decided to expand the scope of cooperation in the areas of humanitarian assistance and disaster relief, maritime security protecting the freedom of navigation, and nonproliferation.

Japan – U.S. – Australia Defense Ministerial Meeting

Parliamentary Senior Vice-Minister Watanabe, U.S. Defense Secretary Panetta, and Australian Minister for Defence Smith before Japan – U.S. – Australia Defense Ministerial Meeting
Parliamentary Senior Vice-Minister Watanabe, U.S. Defense Secretary Panetta, and Australian Minister for Defence Smith before Japan – U.S. – Australia Defense Ministerial Meeting

Parliamentary Senior Vice-Minister Watanabe, U.S. Defense Secretary Panetta, and Australian Minister for Defence Smith discussed on the regional security situation and agreed that the Asia Pacific is facing a wide range of security challenges such as terrorism, piracy, natural disasters, weapons and narcotics smuggling, cyber attacks, outer space, proliferation of WMD and missile technology, maritime security and freedom of navigation. Faced with this security environment, they agreed to work to coordinate on policies. Also, to deal with the wide range of challenges in the Asia Pacific and the international community as a whole, they agreed that the three nations further deepen cooperation based on their shared fundamental values. Moreover, they reaffirmed the recent development in the trilateral defense and security relationship and further promotion in the areas such as the trilateral Security and Defense Cooperation Forum, joint exercises, disaster relief activities, maritime security and capacity building.

Meeting with Australian Minister for Defence, Stephen Smith

The two Ministers welcomed the progress in the bilateral defense cooperation as seen in the regular ministerial “2 Plus 2” meetings and conclusion of an Acquisition and Cross-Servicing Agreement and an Information Security Agreement, and reaffirmed to further strengthen the bilateral cooperation. They also agreed to hold the next “2 Plus 2” meeting early in Australia. Moreover they shared the view that the two countries need to strengthen cooperation in the areas of peacekeeping and equipment and technology.

Meeting with Singaporean Minister for Defence, Ng Eng Hen

The two Ministers exchanged opinions on multilateral cooperation frameworks for the region, including topics such as the regional situation, maritime safety and security, and the ADMM-Plus. As Japan and Singapore serve as co-chairs in the ADMM-Plus Experts’ Working Group on Military Medicine, the Ministers also concurred on further cooperation for the second ADMM-Plus Experts’ Working Group on Military Medicine Meeting to be held in Tokyo this July, and to work together toward the development of this Experts’ Working Group.

Meeting with New Zealand Minister of Defence, Jonathan Coleman

The two Ministers exchanged opinions on regional security issues, such as Japan – New Zealand defense cooperation, the regional situation, and maritime safety and security. They also shared their views on multilateral security frameworks for this region, including the Shangri-La Dialogue and ADMM-Plus. They concurred on working actively together within the ADMM-Plus framework, with respect to the Experts’ Working Group on Peacekeeping Operations, co-chaired by New Zealand, as well as on the Experts’ Working Group on Military Medicine, co-chaired by Japan.

Meeting with Indonesian Minister of Defence, Purnomo Yusgiantoro

The two Ministers exchanged opinions on the regular holding of defense ministerial consultations aimed at further developing Japan – Indonesia defense cooperation. At the same time, they shared their views about the future of Japan – Indonesia defense cooperation. Both sides also concurred on working together actively on the ADMM-Plus Experts’ Working Group on Counter Terrorism, co-chaired by Indonesia.

Meeting with U.K. Minister of State for the Armed Forces, Nick Harvey

At the beginning of the meeting, Parliamentary Senior Vice-Minister of Defense Watanabe and Minister Harvey exchanged the memorandums on defense cooperation signed by the Japanese and British defense ministers. The two sides agreed to strengthen defense cooperation in various areas that include working toward joint research, development, and production on defense equipment and training between the MSDF and the Royal Navy, as well as cooperating on cyber defense and space security.

Meeting with French Minister of Defence, Jean-Yves Le Drian

The two Ministers agreed to take active steps toward contributing to the resolution of regional and global security issues, with a view to promoting peace and stability in the international community. They also concurred on reviewing future possibilities of cooperating in the field of defense equipment, and agreed to promote unit-to-unit exchanges and share information on regional situation, as well as to further deepen cooperative relationship between Japan and France.

Parliamentary Vice-Minister of Defense, Hideo Jinpu, Visited the United States

From May 22 to 26, Parliamentary Vice-Minister of Defense, Hideo Jinpu, visited the United States on a business trip, and held dialogues with the related defense officials in the United States. First, they exchanged opinions on F-35A, and Vice-Minister Jinpu requested the U.S. side to deliver the aircraft which meet the proposed specifications by the deadline requested by Japan’s Ministry of Defense. U.S. officials said that they would put their utmost efforts to meet the proposed specifications. Vice-Minister Jinpu also made a request for the prompt provision of information on the causes and countermeasures pertaining to the MV-22 Osprey crash that took place in Morocco in April. U.S. officials responded that results of the investigation into the accident would be communicated to Japan as soon as they have been summarized. Through this business trip, Vice-Minister Jinpu was able to obtain positive responses from U.S. officials on issues that were important to us. Therefore the visit was fruitful to Japan.

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