JDF JapanDefenseFocus No.83

MEETING WITH FOREIGN LEADERS

The 2nd ASEAN-Japan Defence Ministers’ Informal Meeting and Japan-Lao PDR Defense Ministerial Meeting

The 2nd ASEAN-Japan Defence Ministers’ Informal Meeting and Japan-Lao PDR Defense Ministerial Meeting

On November 16th, Minister of Defense Inada attended the 2nd ASEAN-Japan Defence Ministers’ Informal Meeting held in Vientiane, Lao PDR.

At the start of the meeting, Defence Minister of Lao PDR Chansamone Chanyalath welcomed the visit to Lao PDR by Minister of Defense Inada and the ASEAN-Japan Defence Ministers’ Informal Meeting. After the Defence Minister of Lao PDR gave his opening remarks in which he anticipated active discussions on Japan-ASEAN defense cooperation, Minister of Defense Inada stated as follows.

◯ The Asia-Pacific security issues faced by Japan and ASEAN are becoming more complex and serious, including the recent situation in the Korean peninsula, the East China Sea and the South China Sea. They cannot be addressed and resolved by individual countries alone. I praise the fact that ASEAN is working to address these complex issues through the establishment of the ASEAN community.

◯ As Prime Minister Abe stated at the Japan-ASEAN Summit Meeting in September this year, Japan strongly supports the centrality and unity of ASEAN as a strategic and equal partner.

The 2nd ASEAN-Japan Defence Ministers’ Informal Meeting and Japan-Lao PDR Defense Ministerial Meeting

Minister of Defense Inada announced the proposal “Vientiane Vision - Japan’s Defense Cooperation Initiative with ASEAN -” as a set of guidelines for future Japan-ASEAN defense cooperation. This vision for the first time shows, in a transparent manner, the full picture of the future direction of defense cooperation with the ASEAN as a whole in the priority fields. During the meeting, all parties shared the importance of the rule of law and the peaceful resolution of disputes, and all the participating countries welcomed the Vientiane Vision while expecting to further promote future defense cooperation between Japan and ASEAN.

Japan-Lao PDR Defense Ministerial Meeting

Minister of Defense Inada, who became the first Japanese minister of defense to visit Lao PDR, met with Defence Minister of Lao PDR Chansamone Chanyalath on the same day as the 2nd ASEAN-Japan Defence Ministers’ Informal Meeting.

1. Introduction

At the beginning of the meeting, Defence Minister of Lao PDR Chansamone welcomed Minister of Defense Inada’s visit to Lao PDR and expressed his thanks for Japan’s support to Lao PDR until now. In response, Minister of Defense Inada expressed her thanks for Lao PDR support in hosting the ASEAN-Japan Defence Ministers’ Informal Meeting and for welcoming the Vientiane Vision proposed by Japan as a set of guidelines for future defense cooperation with ASEAN.

2. Japan-Lao PDR Defense Cooperation and Exchanges

Next, both ministers praised Japan-Lao PDR defense cooperation achieved through close cooperation with Lao PDR over the past three years as co-chairs of the ADMM Plus Experts’ Working Group on Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief as well as the three capacity building assistances by the SDF in the field of Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief. With regard to future Japan-Lao PDR defense cooperation and exchanges, Minister of Defense Inada proposed the launch of director-general level talks between defense authorities, a visit to Lao PDR by Japan’s Chief of Staff, Joint Staff, the strengthening of military exchanges, and the promotion of capacity building assistance. In response, Defence Minister of Lao PDR Chansamone stated that he welcomed the proposal and would focus on tightening relations between the defense authorities of Japan and Lao PDR.

3. Regional Situation

Furthermore, both ministers exchanged views about the regional situation. With regard to the issues in the South China Sea, they both agreed on the importance of addressing these issues following the rule of law and working together to resolve the disputes peacefully.

Trilateral Joint Chiefs of Staff Meeting

Trilateral Joint Chiefs of Staff Meeting

Chief of Staff, Joint Staff, Adm. Katsutoshi Kawano participated in a trilateral meeting at the U.S. Department of Defense on October 14th at the invitation of Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Joseph F. Dunford together with Republic of Korea Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Sun-Jin Lee.

Joining General Dunford were Commander, U.S. Pacific Command Adm. Harry B. Harris; and Commander, Combined Forces Command, Gen. Vincent Brooks.

The session was the third between the senior-most Japanese, U.S. and ROK military officers since 2014 July, and featured discussions on trilateral collaboration in order to respond to increasing North Korean nuclear and missile threats.

They exchanged views on the nuclear test on September 9th, the second North Korea conducted this year, and the country’s numerous long-range missile tests.

The three military leaders reconfirmed the tests were flagrant violations of U.N. Security Council resolutions and agreed to firmly respond to the acts in coordination with each other. They called upon North Korea to “refrain from irresponsible provocations that aggravate regional tensions, and to instead focus on fulfilling its international obligations and commitments.”

Gen. Dunford reaffirmed the ironclad commitment of the U.S. to defend both the Japan and ROK and provide extended deterrence guaranteed by the full spectrum of U.S. military capabilities, including conventional, nuclear, and missile defense capabilities.

The senior military leaders agreed to continue working together to further mutual security issues in order to enhance peace and stability in the region.

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