JDF JapanDefenseFocus No.81

MEETING WITH FOREIGN LEADERS

Japan-Saudi Arabia Defense Ministerial Meeting

Japan-Saudi Arabia Defense Ministerial Meeting

On September 2nd, Minister of Defense Inada met with H.R.H. Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud who also serves as Minister of Defense, in Tokyo, where they discussed Japan-Saudi Arabia defense exchange and the regional situation. Prior to the meeting, memorandum on cooperation in defense field between the Ministry of Defense of Japan and the Ministry of Defense of Saudi Arabia was singed with both ministers in attendance. This memorandum calls for the advancement of bilateral defense exchange through exchange at the both high level and working level and in education and research between both ministries.

1.Introduction

Minister of Defense Inada welcomed H.R.H. Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed’s visit to the Ministry of Defense and stated that the signing of the memorandum on defense exchange between Japan and Saudi Arabia marks a giant step forward in bilateral defense exchange. In response, H.R.H. Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed stated that he hoped the meeting and memorandum would serve as an impetus to further promote defense exchange between Japan and Saudi Arabia.

2.Japan-Saudi Arabia Defense Exchange

Both ministers welcomed the continued exchange between units through participation in international mine sweeping exercises and training vessels of the MSDF calling on ports in Saudi Arabia. Both ministers also praised advancements in personnel exchanges between the SDF and Saudi Arabian military through the ongoing participation of Saudi Arabia in the MSDF’s Western Pacific Naval Symposium Short Term Exchange Program for Officers of the Next Generations, onboard training, and Air Command and Staff Seminar. Both ministers welcomed the first-ever dialogue between the defense authorities of Japan and Saudi Arabia that took place in June 2015, and agreed to continue to hold dialogue in the future so as to discuss defense policies of the two countries and the regional situation, among other matters.

3.Regional Situation

Both ministers exchanged their views on the situation in East Asia, including North Korea, the East China Sea and the South China Sea. They agreed to continue deepening understanding about the security situation facing both countries.

Japan-Saudi Arabia Defense Ministerial Meeting
Japan-Saudi Arabia Defense Ministerial Meeting
Japan-Saudi Arabia Defense Ministerial Meeting

Japan-Australia Defense Ministerial Meeting

Japan-Australia Defense Ministerial Meeting

On August 25th, Minister of Defense Inada held a Japan-Australia defense ministerial meeting with Ms. Marise Payne, Minister of Defence of Australia, where the two ministers exchanged their views concerning the future of Japan-Australia defense cooperation.

1.Introduction

Both ministers expressed their congratulations to one another on their mutual appointment/reappointment as Defense Minister, and welcomed their very first face-to-face defense ministerial meeting. They also stated their intention to share candid discussions toward further strengthening Japan-Australia defense cooperation based on the “Special Strategic Partnership” between the two countries.

2.Japan-Australia Defense Policy

Defense Minister Inada explained about Japan’s defense policy, including the Legislation for Peace and Security. Australian Defence Minister Payne explained about Australia’s national defense policy, including its defence white paper released in February this year. Minister Payne also stated that advancement of defence cooperation with Japan represents a top priority for Australia.

3.Regional Situation

Both ministers exchanged their views on the situation in North Korea, the South China Sea and the East China Sea. With regards to North Korea, both ministers strongly condemned the country’s nuclear test in January and subsequent launches of ballistic missiles in violation of multiple U.N. Security Council resolutions. As for the situation in the South China Sea, they reaffirmed the importance of peaceful resolution of disputes through legal processes. From this perspective, the two ministers stated that the final reward rendered by the Arbitral Tribunal involving the handed down on July 12th is legally binding on the countries involved as a final ruling, so the parties to this case should fully comply with the award. Additionally, both ministers stated their opposition to any coercive, unilateral actions that heighten tensions and attempt to change the status quo, and they strongly called on all countries to refrain from large-scale land reclamation, the construction of bases, and the use of these bases for military means. The two ministers, with regard to the situation in the East China Sea, stated their opposition to any, unilateral actions that heighten tensions and attempt to change the status quo.

4.Japan-Australia Defense Cooperation

Both ministers welcomed the deepening of bilateral defense cooperation at all levels and in a wide range of fields through capacity building cooperation, joint exercises, and unit exchanges, among other means. They agreed to further advance Japan-Australia defense cooperation moving forward. To support this direction, they encouraged continual progress in negotiations aimed at the creation of an agreement for mutually improving administrative, policy and legal procedures to facilitate joint operations and exercises. Furthermore, both ministers agreed to continue strengthening trilateral cooperation between Japan, Australia and the United States.

Japan-Australia Defense Ministerial Meeting
Japan-Australia Defense Ministerial Meeting
Japan-Saudi Arabia Defense Ministerial Meeting
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