Japan-U.S. Defense Ministerial Meeting (Summary)

June 1, 2023

Ministry of Defense

In Japanese

On June 1, Defense Minister Hamada and Defense Secretary Austin held discussions from 09:20 for approximately 75 minutes at Japan Ministry of Defense. The summary is as follows.

1. Regional affairs

The Ministers reconfirmed that they would maintain international order based on rules and Free and Open Indo-Pacific in this this age of intense competition. The Ministers confirmed that they would not accept any unilateral attempt to change the status quo by force and such attempts in the Indo-Pacific region and continue to work closely together than ever before to that end.

The Ministers confirmed that Russia’s illegal, unjustifiable and unprovoked aggression against Ukraine is an outrage that shakes the foundation of the international order and confirmed that Japan and the U.S. will work together to continue to provide maximum support for Ukraine.

The Ministers concurred that they will continue to work closely together in response to issues concerning China. Moreover, the Ministers affirmed the importance of having an open dialogue with China. Furthermore, the Ministers reiterated the importance of peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait, and encouraged the peaceful resolution of cross-Strait issues.

The Ministers welcomed the outcome of the Defense Trilateral Talks (DTT) held this April regarding North Korea’s nuclear and missile issues and confirmed to further deepen Japan-U.S. and Japan-U.S.-ROK ties.

The Ministers welcomed that the Japan-U.S.-Australia cooperation has deepened at an unprecedented level. The Ministers confirmed to expand training opportunities and enhance interoperability of the three countries through Japan-Australia Reciprocal Access Agreement.

2. Bilateral Defense Cooperation

The Ministers discussed efforts to strengthen the Alliance capabilities to deter and respond as confirmed at the Japan-U.S. “2+2” meeting in January in order to steadily implement the resolve to protect a free and open international order based on the rule of law as confirmed in the G7 Hiroshima Summit. The Ministers welcomed the progress of discussions on roles, missions and capabilities of the Alliance including effective operation of counterstrike capabilities under Japan-U.S. cooperation.

Secretary Austin reiterated that the U.S. commitment to providing extended deterrence including nuclear capabilities to Japan remains unwavering. The Ministers reaffirmed the importance of further strengthening consultations to ensure that extended deterrence of the United States including nuclear capabilities remains more credible and resilient. The Ministers recognized that the fundamental reinforcement of defense capabilities of Japan including counterstrike strengthens the Alliance deterrence capabilities, and confirmed to continue to cooperate between both countries towards strengthening deterrence.

The Ministers affirmed that the U.S. Air Force MQ-9s temporary deployed to MSDF Kanoya Air Base and the Bilateral Information Analysis Cell play a significant role in strengthening intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) capabilities. They confirmed the necessity of maintaining and strengthening the ISR capabilities in the region.

The Ministers confirmed to deepen cooperation and to advance the discussions related to the possibility of the joint development in a future interceptor against counter-hypersonic technology, in addition to cooperation in unmanned aerial vehicles.

The Ministers confirmed that ensuring cybersecurity and information security serves as foundation for the Alliance. Minister Hamada expressed his strong resolve to fundamentally reinforce cybersecurity.

3. Realignment of U.S. Forces / U.S. Forces in Japan

The Ministers confirmed to continue discussion on implementing initiatives of the posture of the U.S. Force as confirmed at the Japan-U.S. “2+2” meeting. The Ministers welcomed the initiatives on U.S. Forces realignment so far including the relocation of Marine Corps Air Station (MCAS) Futenma to Henoko-saki as well as facility development of Mageshima, and concurred to work closely together to steadily advance such effort in the future. The Ministers affirmed that they would continue to work together to mitigate impact on local communities including Okinawa and concurred on the importance of understanding and cooperation from the local communities for the stable stationing of the U.S. Forces in Japannd their daily activities.

Japan-U.S. Defense Ministerial Meeting (Summary) (PDF)