January 13, 2023
Ministry of Defense Japan
On January 12, Defense Minister Hamada and Defense Secretary Austin held discussions from 1600 (local time) for 60 minutes at the U.S. Department of Defense. The summary is as follows.
1．Bilateral Defense Cooperation
The Ministers concurred that they would promptly implement the respective new National Security Strategy and National Defense Strategy and discussed concrete measures based on the Japan-U.S. “2+2” meeting.
Minister Hamada expressed his strong resolve, under its new strategies, to fundamentally reinforce its defense capabilities, including counterstrike, at an early stage through a substantial increase of its defense budget. Secretary Austin expressed his strong support for such efforts of Japan.
The Ministers confirmed that they would direct to promptly have intensive discussions on roles and missions of the Alliance based on the fundamentally reinforced defense capabilities of Japan. The Ministers confirmed the necessity of deepening discussions on effective operation of counterstrike capabilities under the bilateral cooperation, joint efforts to deter the occurrence of contingencies from peace time, prompt and effective bilateral coordination at every phase, among others.
Secretary Austin reiterated that the U.S. extended deterrence including nuclear capabilities to Japan remains unwavering. The Ministers confirmed that they would deepen efforts to ensure that extended deterrence of the United States including nuclear capabilities remains more credible and resilient, including discussions at Japan-U.S. “2+2.”
The Ministers welcomed the temporary deployment of U.S. Air Force MQ-9s to MSDF Kanoya Air Base as well as the commencement of Bilateral Information Analysis Cell from the perspective of strengthening intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) capabilities.
Recognizing the vital importance of ensuring the technological edge of the Alliance for the deterrence and response capabilities of the Alliance, the Ministers concurred that they would further deepen cooperation in equipment and technology area. As a framework that forms such foundation, the Ministers signed the Memorandum of Understanding for Research, Development, Test and Evaluation Projects as well as Security of Supply Arrangement toward strengthening supply chain cooperation. In addition, the Ministers welcomed the progress for discussions toward joint research and development in counter-hypersonic technology, high-power microwaves and autonomous systems.
The Ministers confirmed that information security and cyber security is fundamental to the Alliance. Minister Hamada expressed his resolve to thoroughly implement measures to fundamentally strengthen security in such area.
2．Realignment of U.S. Forces/ U.S. Forces in Japan
The Ministers agreed to implement the U.S. Forces posture initiatives confirmed in the Japan-U.S. “2+2” meeting which will substantially strengthen the deterrence and response capabilities of the Alliance, and confirmed that they would continue consultations for realizing such initiatives. Minister Hamada highlighted the importance of mitigating impact on Okinawa and the Ministers concurred that the understanding and cooperation from local communities is important for the stable stationing of the U.S. forces and their daily activities.