17th Tokyo Defense Forum

The Ministry of Defense hosted the 17th Tokyo Defense Forum (Forum for Defense Authorities in the Asia-Pacific Region) on October 31 and November 1 in Tokyo.

The Tokyo Defense Forum, launched in 1996, is an annual international conference organized by the Ministry of Defense. It is chaired by the Director General for International Affairs, Bureau of Defense Policy, and attendees are defense officials (Director General level) from the countries participating in the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF). At the Forum, delegates exchange views on defense policy and other subjects of mutual interest, with the aim of deepening mutual understanding and enhancing transparency between the participating countries.

The 17th Forum was chaired by Director General for International Affairs Kazuo Sunaga. Based on the themes of “Security in the Asia Pacific–The Growing Weight of the Region and the Progress in Shaping Regional Architecture” and “Peacekeeping Operations–Future Challenges and Cooperation,” delegates from the participating countries made presentations and engaged in discussions from the perspective of regional security. The discussion topics covered the role of regional security frameworks such as the ARF and the ASEAN Defense Ministers’ Meeting-Plus (ADMM-Plus), and cooperation in peacekeeping operations.

In addition to defense officials from 21 countries in the Asia-Pacific region (see Note), delegates from the European Union (EU) and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) also attended the Forum.

(Note) Australia, People’s Republic of Bangladesh, Brunei Darussalam, Kingdom of Cambodia, Canada, India, Republic of Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Mongolia, Republic of the Union of Myanmar, New Zealand, Islamic Republic of Pakistan, Republic of the Philippines, Republic of Korea, Republic of Singapore, Democratic Socialist Republic of SriLanka, Kingdom of Thailand, Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste, United States of America, and Socialist Republic of Vietnam.

Defense Minister Morimoto delivering the opening remarks
Defense Minister Morimoto delivering the opening remarks
Chairman of the Forum, Director General for International Affairs, Kazuo Sunaga
Chairman of the Forum, Director General for International Affairs,
Kazuo Sunaga

Parliamentary Senior Vice-Minister of Defense Nagashima Meets with U.S. Deputy Defense Secretary Carter

On November 9, Parliamentary Senior Vice-Minister of Defense Nagashima met with Deputy Defense Secretary Carter at the United States Department of Defense.

During the meeting, they exchanged views on issues such as the Japan–U.S. Alliance, incidents involving American soldiers in Okinawa, Japan–U.S. security and defense cooperation, and the realignment of U.S. Forces in Japan.

In particular, with regard to Japan–U.S. security and defense cooperation, they agreed that it would contribute to strengthening the Alliance to advance discussions on the roles, missions, and capabilities (RMC) of both Japan and U.S. in light of new developments in the security environment, and to carry out the necessary research and discussions on the Guidelines for U.S.–Japan Defense Cooperation. With respect to the realignment of U.S. Forces in Japan, the two sides reaffirmed the need to continue putting their utmost efforts into initiatives, in order to ensure the steady implementation of items agreed upon under the Joint Declaration issued at 2+2 meeting in April this year.

Japan–India Vice-Ministerial (2+2) Dialogue, and Japan–India Defense Policy Dialogue

The second Japan–India Vice-Ministerial (2+2) Dialogue
The second Japan–India Vice-Ministerial (2+2) Dialogue
Administrative Vice-Minister of Defense Kanazawa shaking hands with Defence Secretary Sharma
Administrative Vice-Minister of Defense Kanazawa shaking hands with Defence Secretary Sharma

On October 22, Administrative Vice-Minister of Defense Kanazawa and Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs Saiki from Japan, and Defence Secretary Sharma and Foreign Secretary Mathai from India, attended the second Japan–India Vice- Ministerial (2+2) Dialogue in Tokyo.

At the discussion, the vice-ministers exchanged views on the security environment surrounding Japan and India, security policies in the two countries, and cooperation in security. They concurred on further strengthening bilateral tie and cooperation with a focus on security issues such as anti-piracy measures off the Coast of Somalia and in Asia. They also assented to continue a close exchange of views in new areas, such as cyberspace.

Following the discussion, Mr. Kanazawa and Mr. Sharma held their third Defense Policy Dialogue.

In this dialogue, they discussed defense cooperation and exchange between Japan and India, and reached an agreement to further strengthen ties between the two defense ministries. The agreement also includes ensuring the stable continuation of high-level exchanges.

Delegates from both sides regarded the bilateral exercise highly, which was conducted jointly between the MSDF and the Indian Navy in June this year, and concurred on the importance of cooperation in maritime security.

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