JDF JapanDefenseFocus No.61
MEETING WITH FOREIGN LEADERS

Japan-UK Foreign and Defense Ministerial Meeting

Japan-UK Foreign and Defense Ministerial Meeting
Japan-UK Foreign and Defense Ministerial Meeting Photo: Ministry of Foreign Affairs

UK On January 21st, Defense Minister Gen Nakatani, Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida, met the Secretary of State for Defense, the Rt Hon Michael Fallon MP and the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, the Rt Hon Philip Hammond MP in London for the Japan-UK Foreign and Defense Ministerial Meeting.

The Ministers reaffirmed the dynamic strategic partnership between the two countries, as expressed in their Joint Statement on the occasion of Prime Minister Abe’s visit to the UK in May 2014. This sets out a strategic vision of deepening cooperation, based on the shared values of democracy, the rule of law, human rights, and open and transparent markets, in order to make a positive contribution to global prosperity, peace and stability.

Recognizing the contribution of both countries to global prosperity and security over the last 70 years, the Ministers reaffirmed their desire to work together to defend and protect the global commons, on the high seas, in cyberspace, and in outer space, and to support an international system based on the rule of law and international norms.

The Ministers reiterated that Russia’s illegal annexation of Crimea is a clear violation of international law, and emphasised the two countries’ support and respect for the democratic process in Ukraine. The Ministers underlined the need for North Korea to address the international community’s legitimate security and human rights concerns, including the abductions issue. The Ministers reaffirmed the importance of peaceful resolution of maritime disputes in the South China Sea in accordance with universally recognized principles of international law, including UNCLOS.

Emphasizing that states should seek to settle disputes by peaceful means, the Ministers pledged to continue to work together in the G7 and other international fora on foreign policy issues, including supporting Ukraine’s efforts for political stability and economic development and early conclusion of the Code of Conduct (COC) in the South China Sea.

The Ministers discussed current regional and global challenges to the rules-based international system, and the rise of non-traditional security threats. In particular, the Ministers expressed strong indignation at the taking hostage of the two Japanese nationals allegedly by ISIL. In this regard, the UK side expressed strong support, solidarity and readiness to cooperate with Japan. The Ministers strongly condemned the recent terrorist incidents in Paris, and reaffirmed their intention to combat terrorism.

The Ministers noted the importance of a stable security environment for social and economic prosperity, and the threat posed by climate change to global security and prosperity. They affirmed the role of the planned EU-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement in boosting growth in the global economy, and reiterated support for agreement in principle in 2015.

The Japanese side paid tribute to the UK’s global role and contribution to international security, and supported the UK’s commitment to the Asia-Pacific region. The Japanese side set out its ongoing efforts to develop security legislation under its policy of “Proactive Contribution to Peace.” The UK side set out the progress made in implementing the reforms outlined in its 2010 Strategic Defense and Security Review. Recognizing the peaceful path taken by Japan since WWII, the UK side welcomed Japan’s security reforms and its recent efforts to play a more active role in international efforts to secure peace, stability, and prosperity.

In this context, the Ministers discussed how to operationalize the comprehensive framework for collaboration in the areas of defense and security outlined by Prime Ministers in May 2014, and looked forward to further discussions.

Defense Minister Nakatani’s Overseas Visit

Defense Minister Nakatani paid a visit to Djibouti, South Sudan, and the UK during January 17th to 21st.

Meeting with Defense Minister Hassan
Meeting with Defense Minister Hassan

Djibouti Deployed Force
Djibouti (January 18th)

Minister Nakatani met with Defense Minister Hassan Darar Houffaneh in Djibouti. Minister Nakatani also paid a site visit to the operating base of the Deployed Force for Counter Piracy Enforcement that is carrying out the counter-piracy operations off the coast of Somalia and in the Gulf of Aden, and offered encouragement to the SDF personnel on site.

Djibouti (January 18th)
Djibouti (January 18th)
Djibouti (January 18th)
Djibouti (January 18th)
Djibouti (January 18th)
Site Visit to the Deployed Force for Counter Piracy Operations
Site Visit to the UNMISS Japanese Contingent
Site Visit to the UNMISS Japanese Contingent

South Sudan UNMISS
South Sudan (January 19th)

Minister Nakatani had a meeting with the South Sudanese Defense Minister Kuol Manyang Juuk. He then visited the Japanese contingent working for UNMISS (UN Mission in the Republic of South Sudan) Engineer Unit based in the capital of Juba, conducting engineer activities such as road maintenance. There he provided encouragement to the contingent members working under severe environment.

South Sudan (January 19th)
South Sudan (January 19th)
Site Visit to the UNMISS Japanese Contingent
South Sudan (January 19th)
South Sudan (January 19th)
Meeting with Defense Minister Manyang
Japan-UK Defense Ministerial Meeting
Japan-UK Defense Ministerial Meeting

UK
United Kingdom (January 20th–21st)

On January 21st, Japan-UK defense ministerial meeting as well as Japan-UK Foreign and Defense Ministerial Meeting were held in London. In these meetings, the Ministers confirmed that Japan and the UK will work together to fight against terrorism with the international society. The Ministers also exchanged views on a wide range of topics such as security policy of both countries and cooperation in the area of defense.

Defense Minister Nakatani’s Phone Call with the U.S. Secretary of Defense

USA On January 23rd, Defense Minister Nakatani spoke by phone with U.S. Defense Secretary Hagel.

First, Minister Nakatani introduced himself in his new position as Defense Minister and Secretary Hagel congratulated the Minister’s appointment.

Both Ministers agreed to continue to work robustly for completion of revision of the Guidelines for Japan-U.S. Defense Cooperation during the first half of 2015.

They also affirmed commitment of both governments for the completion of construction of Futenma Replacement Facility in Camp Schwab, and to work together to mitigate impact on Okinawa with close cooperation.

Secretary Hagel welcomed the operation of TPY-2 radar at Kyoga-misaki which started last December, and the agreement on the Japan-U.S.-ROK information sharing arrangement. Minister Nakatani stated that he would like to strengthen bilateral cooperation in various fields, including joint training, trilateral cooperation among Japan-U.S.-Australia/ROK, and procurement of new equipment.

Regarding a video clip released by ISIL in which it blackmailed through holding the lives of hostage, they affirmed bilateral cooperation to solve the incident.

Finally, they agreed to work together to build strong Japan-U.S. Alliance.

Courtesy Call on Defense Minister Nakatani by U.S. Ambassador Kennedy

Courtesy Call on Defense Minister Nakatani by U.S. Ambassador Kennedy

On January 23rd, U.S. Ambassador Caroline Kennedy visited the MOD to meet with Defense Minister Nakatani.

Minister Nakatani touched upon the phone call with U.S. Defense Secretary Hagel which took place earlier that day, and stated that Japan-U.S. relationship is the most important alliance in the world, and that conducting bilateral training and enhancing solidarity is necessary in maintaining stability in Japan as well as in the region surrounding Japan.

Ambassador Kennedy said that the two countries are very strong partners and that she looks forward to working with Minister Nakatani in various aspects.

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