Japan–Australia Defense Ministerial Meeting

Visit to the Ministry of Defense by Australian Defence Minister Stephen Smith
Visit to the Ministry of Defense by Australian Defence Minister Stephen Smith

On September 25, Defense Minister Morimoto and Australian Defence Minister Smith held a Defense Ministerial Meeting at the Ministry of Defense in Japan.

At the meeting, the two Ministers affirmed mutual cooperation in the South Sudan PKO, and verified the progress status on Japan–Australia defense cooperation in areas such as the ACSA and ISA.

With regard to future Japan–Australia defense cooperation, Mr. Morimoto proposed establishing a framework for discussion on Japan–Australia cooperation on equipment and technology, as well as continuing the exchange of views among experts. Mr. Smith concurred with these proposals.

With regard to the trilateral defense cooperation among Japan, the U.S., and Australia, Mr. Morimoto explained the current situation and issues of Japan–U.S. relations, and gave details on multilateral exercises that involve Japan and the U.S. He also touched on the research and discussions that will be conducted between Japan and U.S. on the Guidelines for Japan–U.S. Defense Cooperation. In response to the latter, Mr. Smith expressed that he welcomes further and deeper defense cooperation between Japan and the U.S. He also commented on relations with neighboring countries, and expressed his hopes for constructive and productive developments in the cooperation relationship between Japan and Australia. In addition Mr. Smith explained on U.S.–Australia relations, in particular dealing with topics such as the rotation of troops by the U.S. Marines and multilateral exercises that involve the U.S. At the same time, he touched on the progress of reviews on Australian Defence White Paper. Finally, he expressed his hopes for the expansion of practical joint exercise involving Japan, the U.S., and Australia this year, and for the continued opportunities of the Japan–U.S.–Australia Defense Ministerial Meeting at the Shangri-la Dialogue in coming years.

Defence Minister Smith
Defence Minister Smith
Defense Minister Morimoto
Defense Minister Morimoto

Japan–U.S. Defense Ministerial Meeting

Defense Minister Morimoto shaking hands with Defense Secretary Panetta
Defense Minister Morimoto shaking hands with Defense Secretary Panetta

On September 17, Defense Minister Morimoto and United States Defense Secretary Panetta held a Japan–U.S. Defense Ministerial Meeting. This is the second meeting since the appointment of Mr. Morimoto. At the meeting, the two parties exchanged views on bilateral issues, including Japan–U.S. defense cooperation.

With regard to the defense cooperation, the two Ministers exchanged opinions on the security environment in the Asia Pacific region and reaffirmed the importance of maintaining the Japan–U.S. Alliance in order to secure the safety of Japan and the stability of the region. In addition, they concurred on accelerating discussions on Japan–U.S. defense cooperation in the areas of dynamic defense cooperation and BMD. On the other hand, the Ministers also exchanged views on topics such as Guidelines for U.S.–Japan defense cooperation, the MV-22 Osprey and the realignment of the U.S. Forces in Japan.

Japan–Singapore Defense Ministerial Meeting

On October 10, Defense Minister Morimoto met with Singapore’s Minister for Defense, Dr. Ng Eng Hen.

At the meeting, Mr. Morimoto and Dr. Ng concurred on enhancing cooperation in mutual logistics support which would strengthen bilateral defense cooperation between Japan and Singapore. From Singapore side, Dr. Ng expressed appreciation for Japan’s strong participation, and continued support for the Shangri-La Dialogue (SLD) held annually in Singapore, and looked forward to attendance of Japan’s Minister of Defense at the SLD in 2013. Mr. Morimoto and Dr. Ng also voiced strong support for the ADMM-Plus Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief and Military Medicine exercise to be held in Brunei in 2013.

Further, the two Ministers expressed confidence that the bilateral defense relationship between Japan and Singapore would continue to grow, underpinned by mutual interests and shared perspectives, as well as a common commitment to regional peace and stability.

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