Defense Minister Onodera Visits India and France

Minister of Defense Itsunori Onodera visited India and France from January 5 to 10 in order to meet with government officials of both countries and to visit troops.

India Visit to India (January 5 to 8)

Japan–India Defense Ministerial Meeting

During the meeting, Indian Defence Minister A.K. Antony welcomed Defense Minister Onodera’s visit, and remarked that they would like to further promote cooperation in the field of security and defense. Both ministers also welcomed that the first JWG on US-2 and second Japan–India maritime joint exercise were held at the end of last year based on the joint statement issued from the Japan–India Summit Meeting held in May 2013. They exchanged views to promote cooperation in a variety of fields including those mentioned above. A joint press release was issued on major defense cooperation and exchanges to be pursued in the future.

Courtesy Call on Prime Minister Singh

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh stated he was satisfied to see that Japan–India defense cooperation and exchanges are being implemented steadily based on the joint statement issued after the Japan–India Summit Meeting held in May 2013. Both parties agreed to promote further cooperation between the two countries going forward. In addition, Mr. Onodera stated that the security of sea lane is a common interest shared by both Japan and India and that securing the freedom of navigation is critical for both countries. Prime Minister Singh expressed his understanding to Mr. Onodera’s explanation with regard to these matters.

France Visit to France (January 8 and 9)

Japan–France Defense Ministerial Meeting

Mr. Onodera briefed his counterpart on the basic philosophy behind the Abe administration’s “Proactive Contribution to Peace” and its National Security Strategy as well as its National Defense Program Guidelines and Mid-Term Defense Program. He also discussed the current situation in East Asia.

In response, France Defense Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian showed his understanding that maintaining peace of the region through dialogues is important. In addition, he stated that their standpoint is to observe international law in order to protect land, sea and air in light of national security.

Also, they agreed on basic agendas to further promote such as cooperation in the Pacific region, etc.

Japan–France Foreign Ministers and Defense Ministers Meeting

Minister for Foreign Affairs Fumio Kishida briefed attendees on Japan’s national security policy as well as the establishment of the National Security Council and National Security Strategy, while Mr. Onodera talked about Japan’s basic philosophy behind “Proactive Contribution to Peace” and its National Defense Program Guidelines. All four ministers welcomed the consensus reached on establishing a framework for dialogue concerning defense equipment cooperation and export control measures. They also agreed on reviewing specific projects in the future for defense equipment cooperation and information sharing on one another’s export control programs. In addition, agendas agreed during the defense ministerial meetings were confirmed and they had a discussion on regional situation.

A Japan–France joint announcement was made that included specific cooperation to be pursued in the future that was shared at the meeting and that the next meeting will be held in 2015 in Japan.

Courtesy Call on the President Hollande

During the meeting, President Francois Hollande stated the importance of following up on the Roadmap for Japan–France Cooperation agreed upon with Prime Minister Abe in June 2013.

In response, Mr. Onodera cited specific examples of agreed upon matters from the Japan–France Defense Ministerial Meeting and stated the significance of many results achieved at the recent Defense Ministerial Meeting and the Foreign Ministers and Defense Ministers Meeting.

Visits to Singapore and Australia by Parliamentary Senior Vice-Minister of Defense

Parliamentary Senior Vice-Minister of Defense Ryota Takeda visited Singapore and Australia between December 10 to 14, 2013, where he met with Defense Ministers and others from both countries and also sat in on a question time in the Australia’s Diet and visited the Kuttabul Naval Base.

Singapore Singapore

Meeting with Second Minister for Defence (also the Minister for Social and Family Development) Chan

Both parties agreed to cooperate toward the next IISS Asia Security Summit (Shangri La Dialogue) sponsored by the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) and supported by the Singaporean Government.

In addition, Mr. Takeda stated that Japan would like to deepen collaboration with ASEAN further, given the security environment in the Asia-Pacific region. In response, Minister Chan welcomed Japan’s involvement in the region’s security. The two parties also discussed the security environment in East Asia.

Australia Australia

Meeting with Assistant Minister for Defence Robert

Both parties talked about Japan–Australia defense cooperation and defense policy of both countries, as well as confirming their basic stances following a discussion on the security environment in East Asia. They also agreed to continue discussing the cooperation between two defense authorities forward on a long term basis.

Meeting with Minister for Defence Johnston

Both parties discussed the security environment in East Asia and confirmed their basic stance. In addition, they agreed to continue long-term discussions concerning specific Japan–Australia defense cooperation.

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