JDF JapanDefenseFocus No.82

MEETING WITH FOREIGN LEADERS

Japan-U.S. Defense Ministerial Meeting

Japan-U.S. Defense Ministerial Meeting

On September 15th at 2:30pm (U.S. Eastern Standard Time), Minister of Defense Inada and U.S. Secretary of Defense Carter met for approx. 45 minutes at the U.S. Department of Defense.

1.Regional Situations

Minister Inada explained that the continuing intrusions of Chinese government vessels in Japanese territorial waters around the Senkaku Islands are infringement of Japan’s sovereignty and completely unacceptable. The Ministers confirmed that the Senkaku Islands are under the administration of the Government of Japan and fall within the scope of Article 5 of the Japan-U.S. Security Treaty. They also confirmed that they will oppose any unilateral attempts to undermine Japan’s administration of these islands. Additionally, regarding the situation in the South China Sea, the Ministers reaffirmed that the ruling issued by the Permanent Court of Arbitration at The Hague this July is ultimate and legally binding to all countries concerned, and that based on this it is important to conduct activities on the sea in accordance with international law. They agreed that the building of outposts and the use of those outposts for military purposes in the South China Sea are the concern of international society as unilateral actions that increase tensions in the region. They also agreed to advance the capacity building assistance for coastal countries of the South China Sea through coordinated efforts between Japan and the U.S. as an initiative that contributes to the stabilization of the region.

Additionally, the Ministers shared the awareness that North Korea’s repeated nuclear tests and ballistic missile launches, including the nuclear test on September 9th, are clear violations of the U.N. Security Council resolutions and are a serious threat to the security of both Japan and the U.S. that should be condemned strongly. Secretary Carter stated that the U.S. reaffirmed its commitment to extended deterrence provided for Japan. Furthermore, given the fact that North Korea continues to engage in these activities, the Ministers agreed to maintain close cooperation, including the continuing utilization of the Alliance Coordination Mechanism (ACM). They confirmed that they would continue to reinforce trilateral defense cooperation among Japan, the U.S. and South Korea, Japan, the U.S. and Australia, Japan, the U.S. and India, and Japan, the U.S. and the Philippines, while strengthening cooperation through other multilateral frameworks.

2.Reinforcement of the Deterrence and Response Capabilities of the Japan-U.S. Alliance

Minister Inada explained that Japan has initiated training indispensable for carrying out new missions under the Legislation for Peace and Security, and Secretary Carter stated that he supported and welcomed this training and legislation. Also, the Ministers confirmed that the ACM is working effectively in response to the series of provocations by North Korea, and agreed that this mechanism should be utilized further. Furthermore, they recognized advancements further to ensure the effectiveness of the new Guidelines.

Also, the Ministers affirmed that overall enhancement in Japan’s ballistic missile response capabilities and close cooperation between Japanese and U.S. defense officials related to the Third Offset Strategy would contribute to the further strengthening the deterrence and response capabilities of the Japan-U.S. Alliance in the Asia-Pacific region, and they agreed to accelerate cooperation in this regard.

3.Prevention Measures Against Incidents/Accidents Caused by USFJ Related Personnel, USFJ Realignment

Minister Inada and Secretary Carter confirmed to continue discussions at the level based on the joint statement made this July. Minister Inada reinforced the Japanese Government’s unchanged commitment that the Futenma Replacement Facility at Henoko is the only solution that permits the return of MCAS Futenma. Secretary Carter explained that the U.S. shares the same position as the Government of Japan and that both sides will continue to cooperate closely. Minister Inada requested cooperation from the U.S. regarding impact mitigation on Okinawa including training relocation of Ospreys etc. to the outside of the prefecture. Secretary Carter stated that the U.S. will continue cooperating in this regard, and the Ministers agreed that they will work toward the early return of the facilities and areas south of Kadena, as well as a major portion of the Northern Training Area.

Japan-U.S. Defense Ministerial Meeting
Japan-U.S. Defense Ministerial Meeting

Japan-Myanmar Defense Ministerial Meeting

Japan-Myanmar Defense Ministerial Meeting

On September 21st, Minister of Defense Inada met with Lt. Gen. Sein Win, Minister of Defence, the Republic of the Union of Myanmar, marking the first such visit to Japan by Minister of Defence from Myanmar. Defence Minister Sein Win visited Japan from September 20th to 22nd, where he gave a keynote speech at the 8th Japan-ASEAN Defense Vice-Ministerial Forum held in Sendai City, Miyagi Prefecture, from September 20th to 21st.

1.Introduction

To begin the meeting, Minister of Defense Inada stated she was very happy to welcome Defence Minister Sein Win as the first defense minister from ASEAN states to speak as the keynote speaker at the Japan-ASEAN Defense Vice-Ministerial Forum. Minister of Defense Inada also welcomed her counterpart as Myanmar’s first-ever Defence Minister to visit Japan.

In response, Defence Minister Sein Win expressed his appreciation for Japan’s past support as well as his thanks for being invited to Japan on this occasion. He also stated that he would like to strengthen defense cooperation and exchanges between Japan and Myanmar.

2.Japan-Myanmar Defense Cooperation and Exchanges

Next, Minister of Defense Inada pointed out the geopolitical importance of Myanmar’s stability and development for the peace and prosperity of the region as well as from the standpoint of ensuring open sea lanes and the rule of law. She also noted that the MOD/SDF values their relationship with Myanmar’s Ministry of Defence and armed forces and would like to advance various cooperation and exchanges, including frequent high level/working level exchanges, capacity building assistance for all branches of armed forces, the acceptance of students at the National Defense Academy of Japan, and support for the Japan-Myanmar Officers Exchange Program run by The Nippon Foundation.

In response, Defence Minister Sein Win expressed his appreciation for Japan’s capacity building assistance and acceptance of international students, and voiced his approval, emphasizing that he would like to encourage further cooperation and exchanges with the MOD/SDF.

3.Regional Situation

Additionally, Minister of Defense Inada explained about the situation in the South China Sea and the East China Sea. Both parties agreed on the importance of maintaining regional peace and stability through dialogue and cooperation.

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

The 8th Japan-ASEAN Defense Vice-Ministerial Forum

The 8th Japan-ASEAN Defense Vice-Ministerial Forum

From September 20th to 21st, the MOD hosted the 8th Japan-ASEAN Defense Vice-Ministerial Forum in Sendai City, Miyagi Prefecture.

Mr. Ro Manabe, Japanese Vice-Minister of Defense for International Affairs, chaired the Forum, and the participants included senior class officials and representatives from Brunei Darussalam, Kingdom of Cambodia, Republic of Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Republic of the Union of Myanmar, the Philippines, Republic of Singapore, Kingdom of Thailand, Socialist Republic of Vietnam, and the ASEAN Secretariat.

On the 20th, Lt. Gen. Sein Win, from the Republic of the Union of Myanmar, gave a keynote speech in the beginning of the Forum. It was the first time for ASEAN member state’s defense minister to attend the Forum as a keynote speaker.

Under the theme of “To Improve Security Environment in the Region: Enhancement of Defense Cooperation between ASEAN and Japan,” the participants discussed three topics: (1) “Current Regional Security Status,” (2) “United Efforts to Tackle Common Challenges,” and (3) “Future of ASEAN-Japan Defense Cooperation.”

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