Defense Minister Kono’s Participation in the 15th Manama Dialogue and Bilateral Meetings (Summary)
Japan Ministry of Defense
From November 23rd to November 24th, Defense Minister Kono participated in the Manama Dialogue and delivered a speech as well as held meetings with ministers and others from defense and diplomatic fields of other countries participating in the dialogue. The summary is as below.
1. Speech at the Manama Dialogue (November 23rd PM)
On November 23rd, Minister Kono attended the Manama Dialogue and made a speech at a plenary session on “maritime security in the Middle East.” The summary of the speech is as follows:
- (1) International peace and prosperity depend on the maritime security of the Middle East region, and Japan enjoys stable economic activity precisely because of the maritime security of this region.
- (2) Ever since Japan sent vessels of its Maritime Self-Defense Force to the Persian Gulf in 1991, the Japan Self-Defense Forces has continued to contribute to regional maritime security, such as maritime interdiction operations in the Indian Ocean; counter-piracy operations off the coast of Somalia and in the Gulf of Aden; and sending Japanese Commanders and Liaison Officers to CTF151. Relatedly, the Japan Self-Defense Forces is forging broader and closer ties with this region through participation in exercises, defense equipment cooperation, person-to-person links, and other initiatives.
- (3) Even amid the increasing concern about security in Japan’s immediate vicinity, Japan has continued to contribute to the peace and stability of the Middle East because we take the view that an open and secure maritime order provides the basis for a stable and prosperous international community. Japan attaches importance to the freedom of navigation and the rule of law at sea. With respect to the Middle East, it is critical that regional waterways and the maritime commons remain a global public good so as to ensure security and prosperity across the international community.
- (4) Japan is concerned about escalation of the tension in the region and has persistently made diplomatic efforts to help ease tensions and to bring stability to the Middle East. In order to ensure the safety of Japan-related ships and also to secure the peace and stability of the Middle East region, Japan has started to consider how we can best utilize the assets of the Japan Self-Defense Forces as our independent efforts to reinforce our information gathering.
- (5) The vision for a “Free and Open Indo- Pacific” is Japan’s guiding principles for international cooperation. In pursuing this vision, Japan will continue to strive for the security of the Indo-Pacific maritime order, and broader international order, based on the rule of law. This vision will surely lead to an improvement in the security of this region, and also to international peace and stability.
2. Bilateral Meetings
(1) Japan-France Defense Ministerial Meeting (with Minister for the Armed Forces, the Hon. Florence Parly)
(November 23rd PM)
(2) Meeting with the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates of Jordan, H.E.Mr. Ayman Al Safadi
(November 23rd PM)
(3) Meeting with the Commander in Chief of Bahrain Defense Force, Field Marshal Shaikh Khalifa bin Ahmed Al-Khalifa (November 24th AM)
(4) Meeting with the Advisor to the President of Republic of Yemen, H.E. Mr. Abdulmalik Al-Mekhlafi
(November 24th AM)
3. Visit to CTF151 HQs (November 24th AM)
Minister Kono visited the headquarters of CTF151 in which the Japan Self-Defense Forces takes part for counter-piracy operations. The commander explained about the current situations of counter-piracy activities, and Minister Kono provided encouragement to the JMSDF personnel now serving at CTF151.