MEETING WITH FOREIGN LEADERS

Japan–U.S. Defense Ministerial Meeting

Japan–U.S. Defense Ministerial Meeting

On October 3, Minister of Defense Itsunori Onodera and U.S. Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel held a meeting at the JMOD prior to the Japan–U.S. Security Consultative Committee (“2+2”) meeting. Both ministers confirmed the continued significance of the Japan–U.S. Alliance in ensuring security of Japan as well as peace and stability in the region. Taking the “2+2” meeting as an opportunity, the ministers agreed to cooperate further closely on strengthening the Japan–U.S. Alliance. The ministers reaffirmed U.S. position over the Senkaku Islands and confirmed to have close bilateral cooperation between Japan and the U.S. as well as to develop trilateral cooperation with Australia and the Republic of Korea in order to respond to situation surrounding Japan including North Korea’s situation.

The ministers also welcomed the establishment of “Cyber Defense Policy Working Group (CDPWG)” as a new framework of cooperation between the two defense authorities in the area of cyber security.

The ministers reiterated the significance of revising the Guidelines for U.S.–Japan Defense Cooperation as soon as possible in order to respond to changing security environment and to strengthen regional security. The ministers agreed to vigorously continue their discussion based on the discussion in the “2+2” meeting.

Minister Onodera also stated the heads of local municipalities of candidate site for deployment of the second TPY-2 radar recently expressed their willingness to cooperate on this matter. The ministers welcomed announcement as an important step for the early deployment of the radar and agreed to continue working closely together and to accelerate the necessary work for the early deployment.

Courtesy Call on Prime Minister Abe

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel paid a courtesy call on Prime Minister Shinzo Abe as part of their visit to Japan on October 3. The meeting was also attended by Minister for Foreign Affairs Fumio Kishida, Minister of Defense Itsunori Onodera, and other senior government officials.

Defense Minister Onodera Visits Vietnam and Thailand

Defense Minister Onodera shaking hands with Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra
Defense Minister Onodera shaking hands with Prime Minister
Yingluck Shinawatra
Defense Minister Onodera meeting with Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung
Defense Minister Onodera meeting with Vietnamese Prime
Minister Nguyen Tan Dung

Minister of Defense Itsunori Onodera visited Vietnam and Thailand from September 15 to 19, where he met with government officials of both countries and visited Vietnam People’s Navy Fourth Regional Command Headquarters in Cam Ranh Bay.

Visit to Vietnam

Courtesy Call on Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung

To begin their meeting, Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung welcomed Mr. Onodera and pointed out the importance of defense cooperation between both countries. In response, Mr.Onodera expressed his honor and gratitude for being able to meet with the Prime Minister on this commemorative year of the 40th anniversary of Japan–Vietnam diplomatic relations.

Japan–Vietnam Defense Ministers’ Meeting

During the meeting, Mr. Onodera exchanged opinions with his counterpart Defence Minister Phung Quang Thanh about the regional situation as well as the situation in the East China Sea and South China Sea. They both agreed that the rule of law and dialogue are vital to solve the maritime disputes.

Mr. Onodera also stated that MOD/SDF will be assisting Vietnam as it is preparing for Vietnam’s first participation in UN peace-keeping operation.

Visit to Thailand

Meeting with Prime Minister and Defence Minister Yingluck Shinawatra

During the meeting, Prime Minister and Defence Minister Yingluck Shinawatra shared her thoughts on the close relationship built up between Japan and Thailand and her belief that this meeting with Mr. Onodera would help to propel the defense relationship between the two countries forward. In response, Mr. Onodera stated his intention to deepen the defense relationship between both countries through personnel exchanges and other activities.

Meeting with Deputy Defence Minister General Yuthasak Sasiprapha

Mr. Onodera briefed that Japan’s defense capability build-up is solely for the purpose of protecting its land and sea borders and his counterpart showed his understanding. General Yuthasak Sasiprapha also welcomed the participation of the SDF in the multilateral joint exercise “Cobra Gold.” In response to this, Mr. Onodera stated Japan’s intention to proactively take part in this exercise going forward and to build up the cooperative relationship between the defense ministries of Japan and Thailand.

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