JDF JapanDefenseFocus No.86

MEETING WITH FOREIGN LEADERS

Japan-U.S. Defense Ministerial Meeting

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

Minister of Defense Inada and U.S. Secretary of Defense James Mattis had a defense ministerial meeting at the MOD for approx. 85 minutes from 9:15am on February 4th.

1. Regional Situation

Both Ministers exchanged their views on the regional situations and shared the awareness that China’s activities in the East China Sea and South China Sea become a concern to the security of the Asia-Pacific region. In addition, both Ministers agreed that advancements in North Korea’s nuclear and missile development pose a serious security threat to the stability of both countries as well as the region.

Secretary Mattis stated 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, and for this reason, the United States opposes to any unilateral attempts that undermine Japan’s administration of the Senkaku Islands. Minister Inada stated that the actions of the U.S. Forces in the South China Sea contribute to maintain maritime order based on international laws and conveyed support for initiatives by the U.S. Forces. Both Ministers agreed to strengthen their involvement in the South China Sea through capacity building assistance and other measures. Furthermore, they agreed to pursue trilateral defense cooperation between Japan, the United States and the Republic of Korea as well as cooperation involving multilateral frameworks that include ASEAN.

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

Minister Inada explained that Japan will expand its role within the alliance by proactively working toward peace and stability in the region and reinforcing Japan’s defense capabilities to meet this goal.

Secretary Mattis stated that the United States remains committed to Japan’s defense. He also emphasized that the Asia-Pacific region is a priority and that the United States will reinforce its commitment to the region through the continued presence of the U.S. Forces.

They reaffirmed the importance of the Japan-U.S. Alliance, including the iron-clad commitment of the United States toward extended deterrence, in order to ensure the peace and security of Japan and the Asia-Pacific region. They also agreed on the need to further strengthen deterrence and response capabilities of the Japan-U.S. Alliance, taking into account the increasingly severe security environment and the Guidelines established the year before last.

3. Okinawa and the Realignment of U.S. Forces

Japan-U.S. Defense Ministerial Meeting

Minister Inada stated that the realignment of the U.S. Forces in Japan is extremely important for mitigating the impact on local communities, while also maintaining the deterrence of the U.S. Forces. She requested cooperation to move the process along steadily and Secretary Mattis stated that he would like to move ahead with the realignment of the U.S. Forces in Japan through close collaboration with Japan.

Minister Inada mentioned the necessity of relocating and returning the land of MCAS Futenma as quickly as possible, and both Ministers shared the position that the relocation to Henoko is the only solution and agreed that both countries will continue to cooperate closely. Additionally, Minister Inada requested cooperation for mitigating the impact on Okinawa and both agreed to cooperate in order to ensure stable stationing of U.S. Forces in Japan.

State Minister of Defense Wakamiya Attends the Munich Security Conference

State Minister of Defense Wakamiya Attends the Munich Security Conference
State Minister of Defense Wakamiya Attends the Munich Security Conference

On February 18th, State Minister of Defense Wakamiya attended the 53rd Munich Security Conference in Munich, Germany.

Leading figures from around the world including head of states and cabinet members of governments and institutions attended the conference, including from Germany (Chancellor Merkel and Minister of Defence von der Leyen), the United States (Vice President Pence and Secretary of Defense Mattis), and the United Kingdom (Secretary of State for Defence Fallon). The conference featured a broad range of discussions on security issues against a backdrop of the increasingly complex security environment and the world’s growing inward looking tendencies of ranging from the future international order and Europe-U.S. relations to countermeasures against cyber and terrorist attacks to the situation in the Middle East. State Minister of Defense Wakamiya participated in the session on security of East Asia and North Korea. Participants actively discussed North Korea’s nuclear and missile development as well as U.S.-China relations.

Besides each session, State Minister of Defense Wakamiya held informal talks with ministers of defense from each country, including German Minister of Defence von der Leyen and the British Secretary of State for Defence Fallon. He also exchanged opinions with Dr. Katrin Suder, Secretary of State at the Federal Ministry of Defence of Germany, on ways to strengthen defense cooperation and exchanges. State Minister of Defense Wakamiya met with personnel from Germany’s defense industry and discussed Japan-Germany cooperation in the field of defense equipment.

State Minister of Defense Wakamiya also had informal talks with ministers of defense from Canada, Sweden, the Netherlands, Pakistan, Singapore, Switzerland and Turkey.

State Minister of Defense Wakamiya Attends the Munich Security Conference
State Minister of Defense Wakamiya Attends the Munich Security Conference
State Minister of Defense Wakamiya Attends the Munich Security Conference
State Minister of Defense Wakamiya Attends the Munich Security Conference
State Minister of Defense Wakamiya Attends the Munich Security Conference
State Minister of Defense Wakamiya Attends the Munich Security Conference
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