Japan-Canada Defense Minister’s Telephone Conversation
May 1, 2020
Japan Ministry of Defense
On May 1, 2020, Minister KONO had a telephone conversation with Minister of National Defence of Canada, H.E. Harjit Singh Sajjan.
- The two ministers exchanged views on issues such as the roles to be played by the defense authorities given the global spread of COVID-19. Minister Kono explained about the activities and infection-preventative measures Japan Self-Defense Forces have undertaken in their operation on the cruise ship Diamond Princess, and analysis by the SDF Central Hospital by using a presentation document (see attached). Minister Sajjan also explained about the recent activities and measures taken by the Canadian Armed Forces such as assistance for local communities and care facilities.
- Minister Kono, having it in mind that the CAF as well as the SDF provide basic assistance as measures against infectious disease, pointed out that while military authorities need to vigorously support local government and private sectors, we also need to properly pass over these roles to private sectors in light of maintaining sustainability of measures against infectious disease as well as ensuring defense authorities’ seamless posture to be able to respond to every situation. Minister Kono also explained that the SDF have provided guidance of infection-preventive measures to staffs in hotels that accommodate patients with mild symptoms, for instance.
- Further, two ministers exchanged views on defense cooperation and exchanges between Japan and Canada. Minister Kono, taking into consideration the implications of COVID-19, expressed the importance of both countries’ maintaining seamless defense posture and of continued and strengthened bilateral defense cooperation to uphold and reinforce the Free and Open Indo-Pacific with the support of Canada’s commitment in the region.
- The two ministers agreed on the following three points bearing in mind the circumstances arisen by the spread of COVID-19;
- sharing information, knowledge and lessons learned about the measures taken by the defense authorities towards overcoming COVID-19 at the earliest stage;
- necessity of sharing threat recognition based on the current circumstances and potential effects of the spread of COVID-19 on defense policy of each country; and
- promoting vigorously defense cooperation and exchanges to uphold and reinforce the Free and Open Indo-Pacific while maintaining communication between the defense authorities.