JDF JapanDefenseFocus No.71

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Third ASEAN Defence Ministers’ Meeting - Plus and Bilateral Talks

Third ASEAN Defence Ministers' Meeting - Plus and Bilateral Talks

From November 2nd to 4th, Minister of Defense Gen Nakatani visited Malaysia where he attended the third ASEAN Defence Ministers’ Meeting - Plus (ADMM-Plus) and held bilateral talks with defense ministers participating in the meeting.

1. The 3rd ADMM-Plus

(1) On November 4th, the third ADMM-Plus was held in Kuala Lumpur with defense ministers from 10 ASEAN countries and 8 other Plus countries in attendance.

(2) During the meeting, reports were presented on development in the ASEAN region and advancements in the ADMM-Plus framework. Views were also shared among the defense ministers of participating countries about security issues in the region. Minister Nakatani welcomed development in ASEAN, which plays an important role in regional peace and stability, and as a representative of Japan he stated his belief in the importance of the international community working together to protect open freedoms and peace on the high seas. He also emphasized the need for the international community to work as one to ensure the freedom of navigation and flights over the high seas and in international airspace. He also appealed to his counterparts with regard to “promotion of common rules and laws at sea and in the air in the region,” “maritime and aerospace security” and “improvement of our disaster response capability.”

(3) Other countries in attendance also pointed out the importance of ADMM-Plus activities to date and future direction, avoiding collisions and preventing conflict at sea including the South China Sea, and denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.

Third ASEAN Defence Ministers’ Meeting - Plus and Bilateral Talks

2. Bilateral Talks

Individual bilateral defense ministerial talks were held with New Zealand, the United States, the Philippines, Laos, India, Australia, Malaysia, and China.

(1) Japan-New Zealand Defense Ministerial Meeting (Minister of Defence Brownlee)
This marked the second Japan-New Zealand defense ministerial meeting to be held this year. Both ministers talked about their views of the regional situation including maritime security. They also agreed to further deepen defense cooperation between Japan and New Zealand as well as develop their bilateral relationship as strategic cooperative partners of the Asia-Pacific region.

Third ASEAN Defence Ministers’ Meeting - Plus and Bilateral Talks

(2) Japan-U.S. Defense Ministerial Meeting (Secretary of Defense Carter)
Minister Nakatani expressed his support for U.S. Forces activities in the South China Sea. The Ministers welcomed the establishment of the new Alliance Coordination Mechanism (ACM) and Bilateral Planning Mechanism (BPM). They also affirmed that they will increase outer space and cyberspace cooperation in an effort to ensure the effectiveness of the new Guidelines. They also confirmed the commitment of both governments concerning relocation of Marine Corps Air Station Futenma to Camp Schwab and cooperation to mitigate the impact on Okinawa. As for Host Nation Support (HNS), they agreed to make efforts to reach an early agreement. In light of the establishment of Acquisition, Technology and Logistics Agency, they agreed to further deepen cooperation for defense equipment and technology, and affirmed that the recent decision of the U.S. Government concerning maintenance of U.S. Marine Osprey will lead to strengthen the basis to repair and maintain of common equipment, which is mentioned in the new Guidelines.

Third ASEAN Defence Ministers’ Meeting - Plus and Bilateral Talks

(3) Japan-Philippines Defense Ministerial Meeting (Secretary of National Defense Gazmin)
This marked the third Japan-Philippines defense ministerial meeting this year. Both ministers discussed the regional situation, including the maritime situation in the South China Sea and East China Sea, and expressed that they welcomed advancements in Japan-Philippines defense cooperation and exchange, including in the fields of capacity building assistance (Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief, etc.) as well as equipment and technology cooperation. They also agreed to actively push forward the cooperation in the future.

Third ASEAN Defence Ministers’ Meeting - Plus and Bilateral Talks

(4) Japan-Laos Defense Ministerial Meeting (Minister of National Defence Sengnuan)

Third ASEAN Defence Ministers’ Meeting - Plus and Bilateral Talks
At the beginning of the meeting, Minister Nakatani expressed his expectation that Minister Sengnuan will play an important role as the chairman of next year’s ADMM and that Japan would provide as much cooperation as possible. Based on the fact that Japan and Laos co-chair the ADMM-Plus Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief Experts’ Working Group (EWG), both ministers agreed to continue cooperating by sharing their experience and knowledge for a success of the EWG.

(5) Japan-India Defense Ministerial Meeting (Minister of Defence Parrikar)

At the outset of the meeting, Minister Nakatani expressed his appreciation for the MSDF being invited to take part in Malabar 2015 held in October this year. He also requested cooperation aimed at the further progress of cooperation in US-2. Both ministers confirmed the importance of further Japan-India defense cooperation and exchange because of the two countries’ shared values and strategic interests. They also agreed to build a cooperative relationship that is strong and stable by engaging in continual exchange in a broad range of fields.

(6) Japan-Australia Defense Ministerial Meeting (Minister for Defence Payne)
Both shared their views as this marked the first occasion that they met after Minister Payne was appointed. They confirmed the importance of further deepening the special strategic partnership between the two countries and encouraging Japan-Australia defense cooperation, including joint training exercises and equipment and technology cooperation. Both ministers also agreed that bilateral and trilateral cooperation between Japan, the United States, and Australia is critical for peace and stability in the region.

Third ASEAN Defence Ministers’ Meeting - Plus and Bilateral Talks

(7) Japan-Malaysia Defense Ministerial Meeting (Minister of Defence Hishammuddin)
Minister Nakatani expressed his appreciation for the great efforts exerted by Malaysia as the Chair of ADDM-Plus. Both ministers shared their views on various regional issues, including the situation in the South China Sea, and they agreed to further develop Japan-Malaysia defense cooperation and exchange.

Third ASEAN Defence Ministers’ Meeting - Plus and Bilateral Talks

(8) Japan-China Defense Ministerial Meeting (Minister of Defense Chang Wanquan)
This marked the first time in four years and five months that a Japan-China defense ministerial meeting was held. Minister Nakatani stated that he would like to foster a positive environment to build bilateral relations through promoting defense exchanges between the two countries’ defense authorities. He also shared his view on the issues facing Japan-China relations as part of a frank and open discussion. Both ministers confirmed the importance of developing Japan-China defense exchanges to enhance a stronger relationship, including implementation of the Maritime and Air Communication Mechanism at an early stage.

Third ASEAN Defence Ministers’ Meeting - Plus and Bilateral Talks
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