Japan-U.S. Joint Declaration on Security

The Japan-U.S. Joint Declaration on Security was issued after the Japan-U.S. Summit Meeting in April 1996. This declaration reaffirmed the importance of the Japan-U.S. security arrangements, which constitutes the core of the bilateral relationship, and clarified both domestically and internationally what the alliance in the 21st century should look like.

The declaration also stated various bilateral cooperation to be promoted under the Japan-U.S. security arrangements, such as building a more stable security environment in the Asia-Pacific region and reviewing the Guidelines for Japan-U.S. Defense Cooperation.

Overview of the Japan-U.S. Joint Declaration on Security

(1) In this Joint Statement, the leaders of the two countries expressed their profound gratitude to the Japanese and American people, stating that the Japan-U.S. security arrangements have been supported not only by the commitments of the two governments, but also by the contributions of the Japanese and American people.

(2) Recognizing that instability and uncertainty persist in the Asia-Pacific region, the leaders reaffirmed that the bilateral security relationship based on the Treaty of Mutual Cooperation and Security remained the cornerstone for maintaining a stable and prosperous situation in the region towards the 21st century.The leaders reaffirmed the following matters:

(i) The most effective framework for the defense of Japan is close defense cooperation between Japan and the United States based on a combination of appropriate defense capabilities for the JSDF and the Japan-U.S. security arrangements. The U.S. deterrence under the Treaty of Mutual Cooperation and Security remains the guarantee for Japan's security.

(ii) Meeting the commitments of the United States in the prevailing security environment requires the maintenance of its current force structure of about 100,000 forward deployed military personnel in the region, including about the current level in Japan.

(iii) Japan will continue appropriate contributions such as through the provision of facilities and areas in accordance with the Treaty of Mutual Cooperation and Security and Host Nation Support.

(3) The Joint Statement also described important areas in which the two countries would advance cooperation with the objective of enhancing the credibility of the alliance as follows

(i) Enhance exchange of information and views on the international situation, and continue close consultation on defense policies and military postures;

(ii) Review the 1978 Guidelines for Japan-U.S. Defense Cooperation and promote bilateral policy coordination, including studies on bilateral cooperation in dealing with situations that may emerge in the areas surrounding Japan and which will have an important influence on the peace and security of Japan;

(iii) Promote cooperation under the Agreement Between Japan and the U.S. Concerning Reciprocal Provision of Logistic Support, Supplies and Services;

(iv) Enhance mutual exchange in the areas of technology and equipment; and

(v) Prevent proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and their means of delivery and cooperate in the ongoing study on ballistic missile defense.

(4) The leaders agreed that the two governments would strive to achieve a more peaceful and stable security environment in the Asia-Pacific region, and recognized that the engagement of the United States in the region, supported by the Japan-U.S. security relationship, constitutes the foundation for such efforts. They also agreed to promote cooperation on a wide range of global matters, such as peacekeeping and humanitarian relief operations, and arms control and disarmament.

Following the Japan-U.S. Joint Declaration on Security above, the Security Consultative Committee approved the Guidelines for Japan-U.S. Defense Cooperation in 1997 with the objective of creating a solid basis for more effective and credible Japan-U.S. cooperation. Since then, the two countries have made various efforts to ensure the effectiveness of the Guidelines.