JDF JapanDefenseFocus No.97

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Courtesy Call by the Chief
of Staff of the U.S. Army

Courtesy Call by the Chief of Staff of the U.S. Army
Courtesy Call by the Chief of Staff of the U.S. Army

On February 19th, Minister Onodera received a courtesy call from General Mark A. Milley, Chief of Staff of the U.S. Army.

Japan-Latvia Defense Ministerial Meeting

Japan-Latvia Defense Ministerial Meeting

On February 28th, Minister Onodera and Mr. Raimonds Bergmanis, Minister of Defence of the Republic of Latvia held a meeting at the MOD.

1. Introduction

Minister Onodera welcomed Minister Bergmanis’ visit to Japan for the first time as Minister of Defence of Latvia and stated his intention to discuss future bilateral exchanges, while mentioning Prime Minister Abe’s visit to Latvia in January this year as the first Japanese Prime Minister to visit the country. Minister Bergmanis replied that he felt honored to be able to visit Japan, mentioning that this year commemorates the 100th anniversary of Latvia’s independence, and expressed gratitude for Japan for rapidly recognizing the country as an independent state.

2. Regional Affairs

With regard to North Korea, Minister Onodera explained that nuclear and missile development program of North Korea is an unprecedented, urgent and major threat for the international community, and stated the necessity to continue to maximize pressure and his intention to closely cooperate with European countries including Latvia. Also, he expressed his appreciation for Latvia for imposing own sanction on North Korea and its steady response to commercial bank’s alleged money laundering. In response, Minister Bergmanis stated that Latvia is strictly responding to all money laundering issues including this one and would like to tackle with this issue in cooperation with the U.S. They also exchanged opinions on regional affairs including that of Russia.

3.Japan-Latvia Defense Cooperation and Exchanges

Minister Onodera stated that Japan values Japan-NATO relationship and intends to discuss future cooperation including cooperation via NATO. Minister Bergmanis mentioned that Latvia’s advanced efforts in the areas of cyber and strategic communication and stated his intention to cooperate in these areas.

On February 16th to 17th, State Minister of Defense Yamamoto attended the 54th Munich Security Conference in Munich, Germany.

This year’s conference was attended by representing leaders such as cabinet members of governments and international organizations of the U.S. (Secretary of Defense Mattis and National Security Advisor McMaster), the UK (Prime Minister May), France (Prime Minister Philippe), Russia (Minister of Foreign Affairs Lavrov), the United Nations (Secretary-General Guterres and General Assembly President Lajcak), the EU (President Junker) and the NATO (Secretary General Stoltenberg).

The conference featured a broad range of discussions on security issues of Europe including the NATO and the EU, and cyber and nuclear security, given the the increasingly complex security environment. State Minister of Defense Yamamoto participated in a panel session called “Liberal International Order Under Threat”, where Minister for Foreign Affairs Kono made remarks and had active discussions on the situation of North Korea and the importance of an international order based on the rule of law.

State Minister of Defense Yamamoto held short talks with defense ministers of Germany, Singapore, Lithuania, Latvia and Afghanistan during lunch session hosted by the Minister of Defence of Germany. He also held bilateral discussions with defense ministers of Norway, Estonia, Germany and Finland on the sidelines of the conference.

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