JDF JapanDefenseFocus No.55
MEETING WITH FOREIGN LEADERS

Defense Minister Onodera’s Visit to the U.S.

Defense Minister Onodera’s Visit to the U.S.
1. A Gift from Secretary Hagel (Tennis Shirt from University of Nebraska at Omaha)
2. Visit to F-35 Assembly Line at Lockheed Martin
3. Boarding MV-22 Osprey
4. Visit to U.S. Strategic Command
5. Speech at CSIS

Defense Minister Onodera visited the U.S. from July 7th to 12th and held his 6th Japan–U.S. Defense Ministerial Meeting with U.S. Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel. Minister Onodera also visited several military bases and delivered a speech at Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), and so forth in the U.S.

Summary of meeting between the Japanese Defense Minister and U.S. Secretary of Defense is as follows.

1. Overview, Regional Situation

The Ministers affirmed that the Japan–U.S. Alliance will continue to play an important role for ensuring security of Japan as well as peace and stability in the region. They also confirmed that they continue close bilateral cooperation to strengthen the Alliance.

They discussed security environment of the Asia Pacific region. They confirmed the U.S. position on the Senkaku Islands and that the two countries continue to oppose any unilateral coercive action that would change the status quo in the East China Sea and other areas.

With an increasingly severe regional security environment, the Ministers agreed on continued bilateral close cooperation and on advancing trilateral cooperation with countries such as ROK and Australia.

2. Japan’s Security Policy

Minister Onodera explained the summary of the recent cabinet decision on development of security legislation. Specifically, he explained that, bearing in mind that U.S. forces and the SDF closely cooperate and respond seamlessly to various situations, the Government as a whole will work on issues such as self-defense measures permissible under Article 9 of the Japanese Constitution as well as legislation on protection of assets of U.S. forces engaged in activities for defense of Japan and on logistic support for U.S. forces.

Secretary Hagel welcomed this effort as it will enhance Japan’s role in the Japan–U.S. Alliance and contribute to regional peace and stability.

3. Revision of the Guidelines for Japan–U.S. Defense Cooperation

Based on Japan’s recent cabinet decision on restructuring the legal basis on security, the Ministers agreed to continue progress on the revision of the 1997 Guidelines for Japan–U.S. Defense Cooperation. The Ministers agreed that an interim report on the revision will be released at an appropriate time.

4. Japan–U.S. Cooperation on Equipment and Technology

The Ministers agreed to further deepen specific bilateral cooperation on equipment and technology in accordance with Three Principles on Transfer of Defense Equipment and Technology developed in April 2014.

5. Realignment of U.S. Forces in Japan, Impact Mitigation on Okinawa

Minister Onodera explained the progress of construction project on Futenma Replacement Facility. The Ministers agreed to quickly and steadily implement the realignment of U.S. forces in Japan, including the relocation of Marine Corps Air Station (MCAS) Futenma to Camp Schwab at Henoko.

The Ministers affirmed that they will closely work together to advance concrete cooperation on impact mitigation on Okinawa. The Ministers hailed the relocation of KC-130 Squadron from MCAS Futenma to MCAS Iwakuni, which is taking place toward August of 2014. In this context, Minister Onodera raised an issue of noise impact of aircraft flying from outside to MCAS Futenma. Secretary Hagel affirmed that the U.S. is committed to exploring ways to reduce the impact of the U.S. presence in Okinawa.

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