Japan–U.S. Defense Ministers’ Meeting

Joint press conference by Japan and U.S. Defense Ministers
Joint press conference by Japan and U.S. Defense Ministers

On August 3, Minister of Defense Morimoto and U.S. Secretary of Defense Panetta held a meeting at the U.S. Department of Defense and discussed bilateral security and defense cooperation, the realignment of U.S. forces in Japan, and the MV-22 Osprey. With regard to security and defense cooperation, the Ministers emphasized the importance of promoting consultations on roles, missions, and capabilities (RMC), and exploring future defense cooperation and role sharing between the two countries. On that basis, they concurred with the importance of studying and discussing the Guidelines for the Japan–U.S. Defense Cooperation established in 1997.

In promoting the bilateral Dynamic Defense Cooperation, the Ministers reconfirmed their previous agreements and agreed to accelerate the process of the study. In particular, they agreed on specific measures, such as deepening the study on the joint/shared use of facilities in Guam, the study on the cooperation on long endurance UAV, and the study on joint ISR activities.

Japan–U.S. Defense Ministers’ Meeting
Japan–U.S. Defense Ministers’ Meeting

As to the realignment of the U.S. forces in Japan, the Ministers agreed that both sides will make an effort in realizing the agreements in the Joint Statement of the Security Consultative Committee in this April, including the relocation of the MCAS Futenma to Henoko and the steady progress of relocation of Marines to Guam.

Furthermore, with regard to the MV-22 Osprey, Minister Morimoto requested for providing information on the investigation results of accidents and the safety of the aircraft as soon as possible. Secretary Panetta stated that the U.S. Government is confident in the safety of the Osprey, and would provide the results of the investigations into the accidents in Morocco and Florida over the next several weeks. Also, the Ministers affirmed that no flights would be conducted until the safety of its flight operation is reconfirmed.

Defense Minister Morimoto visits GSDF troops

On July 30, Defense Minister Satoshi Morimoto visited the GSDF 1st Division (Camp Nerima) and the Central Readiness Force (Camp Asaka).

Mr. Morimoto gave instructions at Camp Nerima to encourage troop members saying, “Each of the units under the 1st Division as well as the units based in Camp Nerima bear the important missions to ensure the defense and security of the center of the politics and economy of Japan, and work for disaster relief. Your powerful presence is directly contributing to the safety of Japan as a whole as well as the capital city Tokyo, and the security of our citizens. It is vital for each of you to carry out your missions with full awareness of this fact.”

Defense Minister Morimoto delivering his speech
Defense Minister Morimoto delivering his speech
Defense Minister Morimoto inspecting Camp Nerima
Defense Minister Morimoto inspecting Camp Nerima

Meeting between Parliamentary Senior Vice-Minister of Defense Watanabe and U.S. Deputy Secretary of Defense Carter

On July 20, a meeting was held between Parliamentary Senior Vice-Minister of Defense Shu Watanabe and U.S. Deputy Secretary of Defense Carter at the Ministry of Defense.

They confirmed their recognition that the Japan–U.S. Alliance is an important basis for the safety of Japan, peace and stability in the region, and global cooperation, and agreed to continue their close cooperation toward a deeper and broader Alliance.

They also concurred to further promote security and defense cooperation from a variety of fields between Japan and the U.S. In particular, regarding the Dynamic Defense Cooperation referred to in the Japan–U.S. Security Consultative Committee (“2+2”) Joint Statement in April, Mr. Watanabe stated that he would like to take concrete steps to promote this, and Mr. Carter agreed.

They also exchanged their views on the realignment of U.S. forces and the deployment of the MV-22 Osprey in Okinawa.

Meeting between Senior Vice-Minister of Defense Watanabe and U.S. Deputy Secretary of Defense Carter
Meeting between Senior Vice-Minister of Defense Watanabe and U.S. Deputy Secretary of Defense Carter

Administrative Vice-Minister of Defense Kanazawa visits Turkey and Kazakhstan

From July 8 to 12, Administrative Vice-Minister of Defense Hironori Kanazawa visited Turkey and Kazakhstan.

1. Visit to Turkey

Meeting between Administrative Vice-Minister of Defense Kanazawa and Undersecretary of the Ministry of National Defense Dündar
Meeting between Administrative Vice-Minister of Defense Kanazawa and Undersecretary of the Ministry of National Defense Dündar

On July 9, Mr. Kanazawa met with Undersecretary of the Ministry of National Defence Dündar, and Mr. Kanazawa signed the statement of Intent on advancing defense cooperation and exchange between Japan and Turkey. With regard to defense cooperation and exchange between Japan and Turkey, they concurred on the importance of furthering cooperation in various areas, including PKO, HA/DR(humanitarian aid and disaster relief), and anti-piracy operations. They also exchanged views on security situation in the Middle East, North Africa, and Asia Pacific regions.

Mr. Kanazawa visited the PfP (Partnership for Peace) training facility as well as the NATO Centre of Excellence Defence Against Terrorism located in Ankara, and exchanged opinions with Turkish Armed Forces and NATO personnel.

On July 10, Mr. Kanazawa met with Defence Minister Yilmaz at the Ministry of National Defence. They concurred on continuing high-level (including ministerial-level) and working-level exchanges, promoting exchanges between educational and research institutes, and advancing cooperation through NATO. They exchanged views on the security situation in the Asia Pacific region.

2. Visit to Kazakhstan

On July 11, Mr. Kanazawa met with Defence Minister Dzhaksybekov and First Deputy Minister of Defence Zhasuzakov at the Ministry of Defence of the Republic of Kazakhstan. They agreed that it is needed to further develop exchanges in the area of defense between the two countries, and concurred on commencing high-level exchanges beginning with deputy-ministerial level exchanges, as well as working-level discussions beginning with consultations between the defense ministries. They also agreed to promote cooperation in the areas of PKO and humanitarian aid, as well as to promote cooperation through exchanges between educational and research institutes.

Mr. Kanazawa also inspected the equipment and observed counterterrorism training by the airborne assault brigade based in Astana, and exchanged views with Kazakhstan army personnel.

On July 12, he held an informal talk with the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Sarybay at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, where the two exchanged opinions on the regional situation and cooperation in the area of security between the two countries.

Meeting between Administrative Vice-Minister of Defense Kanazawa and Kazakhstan Defence Minister Zhaksybekov
Meeting between Administrative Vice-Minister of Defense Kanazawa and Kazakhstan Defence Minister Zhaksybekov
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