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

in Japanese
November 18th, 2019
Japan Ministry of Defense

 On November 18 2019, Minister Kono and Secretary Esper held a meeting on the occasion of the ASEAN Defense Ministers’ Meeting-Plus (ADMM-Plus). The summary is as follows.

1 Regional affairs

 The ministers confirmed that the recent series of ballistic missile launches by North Korea are a serious threat to regional security. The Ministers confirmed the importance of full implementation of the United Nations Security Council Resolutions for a complete, verifiable and irreversible dismantlement of all North Korea’s WMD and ballistic missiles of all ranges.

 The Ministers affirmed their position that they oppose unilateral attempts to change the status-quo by coercion in the East and South China Seas, and that it is important to work together to make sure that Rule of Law and Freedom of Navigation are firmly established.

2 Japan-U.S. Defense Cooperation

 The Ministers confirmed that they continue to closely work together to even strengthen the alliance capability to deter and respond, including promotion of bilateral cooperation in new domains, to materialize aligned strategies of both countries.

 The Ministers reaffirmed the significance of cooperation with various partners including conducting joint exercises and capacity building assistance to maintain and strengthen a Free and Open Indo-Pacific with the Japan-U.S. Alliance being the cornerstone.

 Also, the Ministers confirmed to make continued effort in streamlining FMS process.

3 The U.S. Forces in Japan

 The Ministers reaffirmed that it is important to sustain the operational readiness of the U.S. Forces in Japan, and Japan and the U.S. continue to work together with the shared recognition that understanding and cooperation from local communities is crucial for maintenance of the operational readiness.

 The Ministers confirmed that the relocation to Henoko-saki is the only solution to avoid the continued use of Marine Corps Air Station (MCAS) Futenma. Minister Kono requested for cooperation in the Government of Japan’s efforts to mitigate the impact on the local communities including Okinawa. The Ministers confirmed to work closely together for the steady implementation of the U.S. forces realignment initiatives. Minister Kono also requested the U.S. Forces to minimize its operational impact on the local communities. The Ministers affirmed the importance to ensure the safe operations of the U.S. Forces.