JDF JapanDefenseFocus No.84

MEETING WITH FOREIGN LEADERS

Japan-U.S. Defense Ministerial Meeting

Japan-U.S. Defense Ministerial Meeting

On December 7, 2015, Minister of Defense Inada and U.S. Defense Secretary Carter had a defense ministerial meeting at the MOD for approx. 50 minutes from 9:05am.

1. General Remarks

Minister of Defense Inada conveyed her appreciation and respect for Defense Secretary Carter’s dedication to the Japan-U.S. Alliance during his term. Defense Secretary Carter stated that it had been very meaningful to be able to work on many issues during an important time for the Japan-U.S. Alliance. The Ministers agreed on the importance of the Japan-U.S. Alliance in ensuring peace and stability of Japan and the Asia-Pacific region. They shared the awareness of the regional situation, including North Korea’s nuclear and missile development as well as attempts to change the status quo through force in the East China Sea and the South China Sea. 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. Both Ministers reaffirmed that they will oppose any unilateral attempts to undermine Japan’s administration of these islands and the unwavering commitment of the United States to extended deterrence provided for Japan. In addition, they agreed to strengthen trilateral defense cooperation, including that involving Japan, the U.S. and the Republic of Korea, as well as improving cooperation through multilateral frameworks.

Both Ministers confirmed the achievements of efforts aimed at strengthening the Japan-U.S. Alliance and agreed that Japan and the United States will continue to work closely together with the current robust Japan-U.S. Alliance as a foundation.

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

Minister Inada and Secretary Carter welcomed efforts be advanced under the new Guidelines and Japan’s Legislation for Peace and Security, including the start of joint training between Japan and the United States based on Japan’s Legislation for Peace and Security as well as the signing of the ACSA by both countries. The Ministers confirmed that Japan and the United States will work closely together under the new Guidelines, including the utilization of the Alliance Coordination Mechanism (ACM).

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

3. Realignment of the U.S. Forces in Japan and SOFA Implementation Practices Related to Civilian Component and others

The Ministers affirmed that discussions at the working level will continue based on the joint Japan-U.S. announcement on reviewing SOFA implementation practices related to the civilian component and others, made in July 2016.

Both confirmed that Japan and the United States will cooperate to realize the return of the major portion of the Northern Training Area, approximately 4,000 hectare, to GOJ on the 22nd of this month. Both shared the same position that the only solution that permits the return of MCAS Futenma is to relocate it to Henoko, and agreed to continue close cooperation. Minister Inada requested U.S. cooperation to mitigate impact on Okinawa, and Secretary Carter stated the United States would continue to cooperate.

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

Japan-Netherlands Defense Ministerial Meeting

Japan-Netherlands Defense Ministerial Meeting
Japan-Netherlands Defense Ministerial Meeting

On December 13th, Minister of Defense Inada held a defense ministerial meeting with Mrs. Hennis-Plasschaert, Minister of Defence, Kingdom of the Netherlands, in Tokyo, where the two ministers shared their views on Japan-Netherlands defense cooperation and exchanges as well as the regional situation. This marks the first time in 12 years that the Minister of Defence of the Netherlands has visited Japan.

Prior to the meeting, both ministers signed a memorandum on defense cooperation and exchanges between the Ministry of Defense of Japan and the Ministry of Defence of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. This memorandum calls for the development of defense cooperation and exchanges between both countries through working level exchanges, education and training involving the defense authorities.

1. Introduction

Minister of Defense Inada welcomed the visit of Mrs. Hennis-Plasschaert, Minister of Defence of the Netherlands. Minister of Defense Inada stated that the signing of the memorandum on Japan-Netherlands defense cooperation and exchanges will serve as a foundation for further defense cooperation and exchanges between the two countries and that Japan is hoping to advance cooperation at various levels based on this memorandum.

In response, Minister of Defence Hennis-Plasschaert stated her hope to further enliven defense cooperation between Japan and the Netherlands, with the signing of the memorandum and today’s meeting marking the beginning of such efforts.

2. Defense Policy of Both Countries

Both ministers explained to each other about their country’s defense policy and agreed that in today’s security environment it is impossible for a country to ensure its own security alone and important for countries to expand cooperative relationships with other countries. In addition, Minister of Defense Inada explained about Japan’s Legislation for Peace and Security and in response Minister of Defence Hennis-Plasschaert stated she welcomed Japan’s initiatives related to the peace and stability of the international community.

3. Japan-Netherlands Defense Cooperation and Exchanges

Both ministers affirmed that they will share their views on regional and international situation as well as matters of mutual interest, including defense equipment and technology cooperation.

Also, both ministers welcomed the close coordination on the anti-piracy operations being conducted in the Gulf of Aden between the MSDF anti-piracy unit and the EU Naval Force, in which the Royal Netherlands Navy has participated. They also agreed to continue working together in the fields of global security and defense, such as peacekeeping operations and maritime security operations, including anti-piracy efforts.

Furthermore, Minister of Defense Inada stated that she hoped to advance cooperation with NATO as well, and Minister of Defence Hennis-Plasschaert stated she welcomed Japan’s efforts to strengthen cooperation with NATO.

4. Regional Situation

Both ministers shared their views on regional and international situation, including East Asia. They shared the same understanding in the importance of peaceful resolution of disputes based on international law.

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