The JPIDD Preparatory Senior Officials Meeting

(Press Release)

March 3, 2021

Japan Ministry of Defense

The JPIDD Preparatory Senior Officials Meeting

1 On 3 March, the Japan Pacific Islands Defense Dialogue (JPIDD) Preparatory Senior Officials Meeting was held in an online format.

2 The meeting was attended by Ms. MATSUKAWA Rui, Parliamentary Vice-Minister of Defense of Japan (opening session only), Mr. NOGUCHI Yasushi, Director General for International Affairs, Ministry of Defense of Japan, Mr. Joji DUMUKURO, Manager National Security and Policing, Republic of Fiji, Mr. Simon TUNAPAI, Deputy Secretary for Defence, Independent State of Papua New Guinea, and Captain Ulakai, Deputy Chief of the Defence Staff, Kingdom of Tonga.

3 At the outset, Ms. Matsukawa expressed that the Japan Ministry of Defense is committed to holding the JPIDD, which was originally scheduled to take place in April 2020 but has been postponed due to the impact of COVID-19, at an appropriate timing while taking into consideration the global situation of the pandemic, and would like to exchange views on the common challenges such as disaster response, climate change, and maritime security. Ms. Matsukawa also expressed that the Ministry would like to promote defense cooperation and exchanges even further to uphold and reinforce the free, open, and rules-based maritime order.

4 At the meeting, the officials exchanged views on the roles to be played by the defense authorities in the areas of infectious disease control, HA/DR and climate change, and maritime security given the global spread of COVID-19. The officials confirmed that they will continue promoting bilateral and multilateral defense cooperation and exchanges to uphold and reinforce the Free and Open Indo-Pacific while maintaining communication between the defense authorities. Moreover, they affirmed their intention to remain in close cooperation to successfully hold the JPIDD.