MEETING WITH FOREIGN LEADERS

Defense Minister Onodera visits the Philippines

Minister of Defense Itsunori Onodera visited the Philippines from June 26 to 27, and held discussions with Secretary of the Department of National Defense Voltaire Gazmin.

The two ministers shared views regarding the situation in the region surrounding Japan and in the South China Sea. In addition, they exchanged views on the current situation and future prospects regarding the bilateral defense cooperation and exchanges.

During this visit, ministers’ meeting was held in accordance with the Statement of Intent signed in July of last year, and a candid exchange of views took place on the severe security environment which the two countries are facing. It was confirmed at the high level that cooperation was deepened between their defense authorities, particularly on maritime affairs and both ministers concurred to continue cooperation in this field.

Furthermore, both ministers agreed to advance policy coordination on defense issues, and to promote and continue the bilateral defense partnership, including capacity building in the fields of humanitarian assistance and disaster relief (HADR), flight safety, air rescue, and aviation medicine between the Japan Air Self-Defense Force and the Philippine Air Force.

Vice Minister of Defense Eto visits India

On July 9 and 10, Vice Minister of Defense Akinori Eto visited the Ministry of Defence, as well as the Prime Minister’s Office of India. He exchanged views with the Union Minister of State for Defence and the National Security Advisor, and visited a brigade.

During the meeting with Union Minister of State for Defence Jitendra Singh, Mr. Eto expressed condolences to the victims suffered from the recent heavy rains of monsoon in northern India, and expressed respect for the active involvement by the members of Indian forces who are contributing to the disaster relief activities. In addition, Mr. Eto welcomed the deepening of the bilateral defense cooperation and exchanges in a wide range of fields, including PKO operations.

Both ministers confirmed the progress on the decisions made by the Prime ministers of both countries during the Japan–India summit in May this year (“to conduct bilateral exercises between the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force and the Indian Navy on a regular basis with increased frequency” and “to establish a Joint Working Group to explore modality for the cooperation on the US-2 amphibian aircraft”). They exchanged views on the future cooperation approach, including the implementation of these decisions swiftly and steadily, and agreed to continue making effort for further strengthening the bilateral relationship.

During the meeting with National Security Advisor Shivshankar Menon, they welcomed the strengthening of the bilateral cooperative relationship, including in the field of defense. They also shared the view on the need for further strengthening the bilateral partnership and for making quick actions, to implement the prime ministers’ decisions.


Meeting with Union Minister of State for Defence
Jitendra Singh

Vice Minister of Defense Eto and Union Minister of State
for Defence Jitendra Singh

Japan–Australia Defense Ministers Meeting

On July 5, Minister of Defense Itsunori Onodera held a Japan–Australia Defense Ministers Meeting with Minister for Defence of Australia Stephen Smith in Tokyo. Both ministers confirmed their understanding of the regional situation and the progress of the bilateral defense cooperation. They also exchanged views on the future Japan–Australia defense cooperation and Japan–U.S.–Australia trilateral defense cooperation.

Both ministers exchanged views on the situation in East Asia, including North Korea. They concurred that Japan –Australia and Japan–U.S.–Australia will work together to maintain peace and stability in the region. The two ministries supported the United States’ rebalance towards the region and agreed to continue their close cooperation.

Also, both ministers welcomed the commencement of personnel exchanges started from July 1 as part of the cooperation in the field of capacity building assistance, and agreed to promote cooperation in this field.

Defense Minister Onodera and Australia Minister for Defence Smith
Defense Minister Onodera and Australia Minister
for Defence Smith
Japan?Australia Defense Ministers Meeting
Japan–Australia Defense Ministers Meeting

Defense Minister Onodera visits Hawaii

Defense Minister Onodera met Pacific Command Commander Locklear
Defense Minister Onodera met Pacific Command
Commander Locklear

On July 3, Minister of Defense Itsunori Onodera visited the U.S. Pacific Command and held talks with ADM Samuel J. Locklear, Commander of the Pacific Command.

Mr. Onodera noted on his attendance at the Shangri-La Dialogue and visits to Guam, the Philippines, and other locations. He stated that observing the progress of the projects for the relocation of the U.S. Marine Corps forces in Okinawa to Guam and the current presence of the U.S. forces in the Asia-Pacific region brought home to him once again the indispensableness of establishing a robust Japan–U.S. alliance for achieving peace and stability in the entire region, all the while firmly building up Japan’s defense forces.

In particular, in order to mitigate impacts on Okinawa, Mr. Onodera underscored the need to make swift and steady progress with the Guam relocation project in accordance with the Japan–U.S. agreement, as well as the need for Japan–U.S. cooperation with regard to Osprey trainings by U.S. forces.

Bearing in mind the regional situation surrounding Japan, Mr. Onodera and Commander Locklear agreed to further deepen the bilateral cooperation for the development of a robust Japan–U.S. alliance aimed at the peace and stability of the Asia-Pacific region.

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