Thursday, 12/12/2019 | 9:26 UTC+0
Libyan Newswire

Secretary’s Remarks: Press Availability with Secretary of Defense Ash Carter, Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida, and Japanese Defense Minister Gen Nakatani

SECRETARY KERRY: Well, good morning, everybody. It’s a great pleasure to welcome our Japanese colleagues, Foreign Minister Kishida and Defense Minister Nakatani, here to New York. And we are especially delighted to be here for this occasion, and obviously I’m very, very pleased to be joined by my colleague, the Secretary of Defense Ash Carter. And today, we mark the establishment of Japan’s capacity to defend not just its own territory, but also the United States and other partners as needed.

This is an historic meeting. It’s an historic transition in the defense relationship between our countries. And Secretary Carter and I are very, very grateful to have such willing and capable partners in arriving at this particular moment.

On behalf of the United States, let me begin by expressing our deepest condolences to all those who were affected by the earthquake in Nepal, including the families of those who died in Nepal, India, Bangladesh, and China. The images that everybody have seen are gut-wrenching, extraordinary devastation, young children carried away in ambulances, in villages – entire villages reduced to rubble, families mourning loved ones, people still asking questions and wondering about the next day, let alone the next hours.

We are working very closely with the Government of Nepal to provide assistance and support. And today, I’m announcing that the United States will provide an additional $9 million for Nepal earthquake response and recovery efforts; this is in addition to the 1 million already provided, so a total of $10 million at this moment.

The international community has mobilized a massive relief effort, and USAID has deployed a disaster assistance response team. We are activating additional urban search-and-rescue team members in order to accompany disaster experts and assist with assessments of the situation. And I want to thank Japan, especially, for their response, both in terms of money as well as sending a special disaster response team as well.

Tragedies of this magnitude underscore that in today’s world, next door is really everywhere, and it’s no secret that there is an enormous amount going on right now in the world – new opportunities, but also very real new dangers and emerging threats. Good friends in the course of all of this are really important, and they are especially welcome and necessary in order to meet the turbulence of these times. That is precisely why today’s meeting was so critical.

Though we live in different hemispheres at opposite ends of the globe, the United States could ask for no better friend or ally than Japan. Our alliance has long been the cornerstone of peace, stability, and prosperity across the Pacific. And for 70 years, U.S. forces in Japan have helped to safeguard the political, economic development of Northeast Asia. We have worked as partners to deter aggression, to respond to natural disasters, to combat terrorism, oppose proliferation, protect the region’s sea lanes, and foster extraordinary economic growth that is now transforming all of Asia.

Our dialogue this morning focused on particularly transformative achievement – the completion of the new guidelines for the U.S.-Japan defense cooperation, which is our first such revision since 1997. Obviously, an enormous amount has changed since 1997. Gradually, after long consideration, Japan has taken on itself a greater international role. Within the past decade, it has established a national security council, it has sent forces to Iraq and Kuwait, it has deployed peacekeepers to South Sudan and Haiti, and participated in Operation Enduring Freedom in the Indian Ocean – all of this during a period of evolving risks and dangers both in the Asia Pacific and across the globe.

The guidelines that we have worked on that have been announced today will enhance Japan’s security, deter threats, and contribute to regional peace and stability. The United States and Japan stand together in calling for disputes in the region to be resolved peacefully. We reject any suggestion that freedom of navigation, overflight, and other unlawful uses of the sea and airspace are privileges granted by big states to small ones, subject to the whim and fancy of a big state. And as President Obama has reaffirmed, our treaty commitments to Japan’s security remains ironclad and covers all territories under Japan’s administration, including the Senkaku Islands.

Decades after our modern partnership rose from the ashes of war, this alliance has matured into one of the strongest on Earth. Together we are working to manage the growing threat from North Korea, as well as tensions that are related to maritime security. We are adapting to emerging challenges in outer space, on cyber issues, and missile defense. And today we not only look back with pride on 70 years of peace, prosperity, and friendship with Japan, but we also look ahead as we chart a course in this defense guidelines agreement that will help to ensure our future is even more successful and more productive than our present or our past.

So I join Secretary Carter in thanking Foreign Minister Kishida and Defense Minister Nakatani for the productive discussions not just over the past day, but the enormous amount of work that went into since we announced this effort with Foreign Minister Kishida a year ago – or in 2013, two years now we’ve been working on this – and we look forward to continuing that work in the days ahead. Thank you.

SECRETARY CARTER: Well, let me join my colleague Secretary Kerry in sending our condolences, first of all, to all of the victims of the tragic earthquake in Nepal – victims from many countries, including our own. And I just wanted to note for those here that we’ve been working with our interagency partners to provide assistance. He mentioned one aspect of that; I also want to add that yesterday, two C-17s of the U.S. Air Force were dispatched to Nepal with USAID support, search and rescue personnel, and supplies on board. We expect them to arrive shortly and we expect to be doing more as and when called upon.

We have tremendous humanitarian capability and experience, as the response to the Nepal disaster shows, and we put that to work not long ago during Operation Tomodachi in Japan after the earthquake there. And that collaboration with Japan was just one instance – an important one – of U.S.-Japan defense cooperation that has transpired since the guidelines we’re discussing today were last updated 18 years ago. They were good guidelines. They allowed us to do many things, but today we’ve agreed to new guidelines that give us new opportunities to do new things, because the world has changed much since 18 years ago. The region – the Asia-Pacific region – has changed. Its weight in world affairs has increased, and that is reflected in our rebalance, the U.S. rebalance to the Asia-Pacific, including its expression in our own defense capabilities.

We face new threats, new domains, new geographies, and new capabilities. And in all of this, one thing remains the same, and that is our bedrock alliance: the alliance with Japan. That is, as Secretary Kerry said, the cornerstone of peace and stability in the region, and we are deeply committed both to Japan’s security and to security in the region.

Guidelines really represent a wonderful opportunity and a new high point in the alliance’s history. At a time when Japan’s own security posture is itself changing in historic ways, these guidelines allow us to modernize the U.S.-Japan alliance at the same time by breaking new ground on existing areas of military cooperation and helping us open new areas of military cooperation, both in the Asia Pacific and around the globe.

Under these new guidelines we can work in new domains, like space and cyberspace, and we can cooperate in new ways, both regionally and globally. I look forward to working with Minister Nakatani this week during Prime Minister Abe’s visit to Washington and in the coming months to implement the roles and missions detailed in these new guidelines. For example, tomorrow we’ll finalize plans for a bilateral space cooperation working group.

I recently returned from my first visit to the Asia Pacific as Secretary of Defense, and as I said on that trip, this region is so important to our nation’s and the world’s future. I’m personally committed to working with Secretary Kerry and others in the Administration on the next phase of the rebalance, as we work to deepen and diversify our diplomatic, economic, and military engagement in the region. The approval of the new defense guidelines marks an important step in the rebalance’s next phase. There will be many more.

I turn it over now to Foreign Minister Kishida. Please.

FOREIGN MINISTER KISHIDA: (Via interpreter) Today I am glad to report that we have made great achievements at the 2+2 meeting. I would like to express my gratitude to those who made efforts to realize such a successful meeting, Secretary Kerry and Secretary Carter in particular. I would also like to offer my deep condolence to all the victims of the recent earthquake in Nepal. Japan, in addition to assistance in goods of 25 million yen, we have decided 1 million – 1 billion yen, or more than $8 million of emergency grants in aid to be implemented. And the Japanese emergency relief unit rescue team are now being sent to the site. And in addition, 45 or so medical personnel team is to be newly sent. I hope that in responding to the situation, Japan and U.S. will be able to work in close partnership, including exchange of information on the ground. And we have already confirmed this at the 2+2 meeting.

Now, as to the meeting today, the meeting took place in this milestone year marking the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II, and successfully opened a new chapter in the long history of the Japan-U.S. security and defense cooperation. It will lead us to Prime Minister Abe’s visit to the United States, especially tomorrow’s summit meeting. To be more specific, we announced the release of the new guidelines for Japan-U.S. defense cooperation after 18 years from the last revision in 1997. The new guidelines reflect both the enhancement of solidarity and the expansion of cooperation between Japan and the United States. We intend to further strengthen deterrence and response capabilities of the alliance while promoting bilateral work under the new guidelines.

The new guidelines are the outcomes of efforts under Japan’s policy of proactive contribution to peace based on the principle of international cooperation and the rebalance policy of the U.S. side. The new guidelines will enhance synergies of both policies. Under the dynamic security environment, Japan will continue its path as a peace-loving nation in a consistent manner. Furthermore, Japan, in close cooperation with the United States, will continue to contribute even more proactively to ensuring peace, stability, and prosperity of not only Japan but the Asia Pacific region and the international community.

Taking various opportunities, we would like to spread the understanding of Japan’s position in the international community. On regional issues and security environment, we also exchange views at the 2+2 meeting. And the four of us reaffirmed that the Senkaku Islands are territories under the administration of Japan and therefore fall within the scope of the commitments under Article V of the Japan-U.S. Treaty of Mutual Cooperation and Security, and that we oppose any unilateral action that seeks to undermine Japan’s administration of the islands.

We have confidence in and highly appreciate the commitment of the U.S. Government. Moreover, in relation to the current situation in the South China Sea, we once again shared the recognition about the importance of the rule of law and will promote various measures in cooperation with the international community. We cannot let unilateral action to change the status quo to be condoned.

Regarding the realignment of U.S. forces in Japan, both governments reaffirmed that the plan to construct the Futenma replacement facility at Henoko is the only solution that avoids the continued use of MCAS, or Marine Corps Air Station, Futenma. I explained that the Government of Japan will move forward toward, while continuing dialogue with Okinawa, the plan’s completion with strong determination. We confirmed that the two governments are steadily implementing the relocation of the U.S. Marine Corps personnel from Okinawa to locations outside of Japan, including Guam, and the land return south of Kadena Air Base.

Also we share the view that in achieving progress in the realignment of U.S. forces in Japan, it is important to maintain deterrence and to mitigate the impact of U.S. forces on local communities. In particular, I asked for the cooperation from the United States, explaining that Government of Japan’s position on impact mitigation of Okinawa remains unchanged. And in response, the U.S. side reaffirmed its commitment to impact mitigation.

Regarding the agreement, the supplement, the Japan-U.S. Status of Forces Agreement on environmental stewardship, on which substantial agreement has been achieved in October last year, we confirmed our intention to continue negotiating the ancillary documents of the agreement, and we would like to continue our preparations necessary to achieve the signing as soon as possible.

Through today’s meeting, I am confident that we were able to show both inside and outside the stronger bilateral alliance. I am looking forward to work closely with the United States going forward. Thank you.

DEFENSE MINISTER NAKATANI: (Via interpreter) In December last year, I was appointed the defense minister for the second time and have been working on the strengthening of the Japan security and also in order to strengthen the Japan-U.S. alliance. And now as I look back, in 2011, when the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the Japan-U.S. Security Treaty, I participated in the ceremony, and also after 9/11, after the terrorist attack, there was defense ministers talks. And I also took part in it. And yesterday, in New York, I visited Ground Zero. And over there, about 2,000 people perished, but I offered the – a bouquet of flowers and expressed my sense of the – sympathy.

Now despite such massive damage, the United States is resolutely working on elimination of terrorism in the world. So to the United States for such efforts, I express my respect, and to those people who perished, the soldiers, I would like to offer my sympathies and tribute.

Now as minister for – responsible for defense, I have been coming to the United States for the first time in 14 years, and I now saw a success in conversion of this historic 2+2 meeting that decided the new guidelines; I’m very pleased. Now the greatest achievement of today’s 2+2 meeting is, for the first time, the revision of the guidelines has been made in 18 years. In the 18-year period, security involvement that surrounds Japan and the United States changed dramatically.

But there is something that has never changed. It is the importance of having to further strengthen Japan-U.S. defense cooperation. The new guidelines look at the world in the 21st century and security trend in the Asia Pacific region and draw a picture of Japan-U.S. defense cooperation in the coming decade and beyond. I believe that innovativeness of it will bring the Japan-U.S. alliance to a new stage.

In today’s meeting, with respect to the realignment of the U.S. forces in Japan, I explained the situation regarding this point of the realignment of U.S. forces in Japan – the point that the relocation to Camp Schwab is the only solution to avoid the indefinite news of Marine Corps Air Station Futenma that has been reconfirmed. Also, Foreign Minister Kishida and I requested for continued cooperation for mitigating the impact on Okinawa. And we agreed that Japan and the United States will continue to cooperate for alleviation of the impact on Okinawa.

Based upon these results, we will steadfastly implement realignment of the United States forces in Japan. Through today’s historic meeting, Japan-U.S. alliance has moved forward to a new stage, has been demonstrated to the world. Tomorrow, along with the Japan-U.S. summit meeting, there will be a Japan-U.S. defense ministerial talks between Secretary Carter and me. Through these opportunities, while fully ensuring good bilateral communications based on today’s results, I’ll press forward toward an even greater alliance cooperation in the coming period.

And lastly, I would like to make announcement about the response to Nepal. My heart goes out to all the people who were affected by the disaster. At the ministry of defense, we have dispatched (inaudible) that is now studying the damage and needs for support and collecting information. And on the 27th, the Japanese time, we met a request from the Nepali Government, and we will dispatch the 20-strong team of – for medical assistance and disaster assistance. Including the first team, about 110 people will be dispatched. In addition to the relief team, the goods necessary for medical relief and assistance will be transported by the Air Self-Defense Forces aircraft.

So in this kind of – the humanitarian assistance and the disaster relief that is emphasized in the new guidelines, so on this kind of a front as well, we would like to see further Japan-U.S. cooperation. Thank you.

MODERATOR: Questions now. The first question is from Michael Gordon of The New York Times, and the mike is right behind you.

QUESTION: Sir, a question for Secretary Carter and for the Japanese Defense Minister, Mr. Nakatani. The point has been made that these new guidelines will allow Japan not only to defend its own territory but to defend the United States and other partners as needed, as Secretary Kerry said. Can you please provide some specific, concrete examples of what Japan will be able to do now under the new guidelines that it wasn’t able to do previously under the old guidelines, and how this might better position the alliance to deal with challenges in the South China Sea?

And a question for Secretary Kerry. Sir, you will be speaking later today in a meeting later today with Foreign Minister Zarif of Iran. Is there a role for Iran in working out a political solution to the crisis in Yemen? And will you be discussing Yemen with him during your meeting?

SECRETARY CARTER: So let’s see. I think the first part of your question, Michael, I’ll address briefly. But I think it was – was that mostly for Minister Nakatani?

QUESTION: Both of you.

SECRETARY CARTER: Both of us, okay.

QUESTION: (Inaudible.)

SECRETARY CARTER: It is. (Laughter.) There are several ways in which the guidelines create new opportunities for us. With respect to geography, the guidelines that are in – were concluded 18 years ago and that are in force now speak to security situations in the areas surrounding Japan. The current guidelines are unrestricted with respect to geography. So anywhere else where our two governments, separately using their own constitutional procedures, decide we have a common interest and want to work together, these guidelines now permit that under the framework of the alliance. That’s a very big change from being locally focused to being globally focused. And of course, it’s completely appropriate given the way the world has changed since 1997. Let me now ask my friend again to add.

DEFENSE MINISTER NAKATANI: (Via interpreter) it is – shows (inaudible) direction of the policy. So it is not really looking at any specific situation in any specific region, but in studying the new guidelines, at all phases Japan and the United States, regarding the maritime security, we will cooperate. That is one of the points of emphasis. Now furthermore, south – regarding the issues surrounding South China Sea, that is directly related with the world peace and stability of the region. So this is common interest for the two countries.

So in today’s 2+2, including the situation of the South China Sea, with respect to the importance of the rule of law, the same recognition was made. So in the joint statement in South China Sea, including the matters concerning security, the – we will – regarding the Japan-U.S. cooperation in human resource development, there has been advancement, and that has been noted. And also in the Middle East, the Hormuz Strait, the marine sweeping, and also ship inspection – whether we will cooperate or not now based on these guidelines, based on the laws and regulations, and looking at the specific situation, we’ll make an appropriate decision. At any rate, under these guidelines with the United States, how to – we’ll proceed with the defense cooperation. We’ll have Japan-U.S. defense ministerial talks tomorrow with Secretary Carter and we would like to confirm these points. Thank you.

SECRETARY KERRY: Yes, I will be meeting with Foreign Minister Zarif later today. And obviously, the predominant discussion will be about the nuclear agreement and our efforts to build on the framework that has been announced and meet our deadline of June 30th. But I would be surprised – in fact, I’m confident that Yemen will be mentioned, certainly. Because Iran is obviously a supportive party to the Houthis. And the Saudi shift from phase one into a political phase and humanitarian phase with the reduction of the air campaign was predicated on the notion that people would freeze in place and that you would go to those talks held by the UN and hopefully begin to have a political solution. But what happened was the Houthi began to take advantage of the absence of air campaign, moving not only additionally on Aden, but moving in other parts of the country and shifting artillery and taking certain elements of the Yemen army under fire. So that elicited a further response, and I think it’s important for all parties – all parties – to adhere to international law, to the United Nations resolutions, and to get to the negotiating table as fast as possible. And I will certainly urge that everybody do their part to try to reduce the violence and allow the negotiations to begin in a way that will protect the interests of Yemenis. Yemen’s future should be decided by Yemenis. All Yemenis have a right to come to that table and be part of that, but it should be decided by Yemenis on both sides of the current dispute, not by external parties and proxies.

MODERATOR: (Via interpreter) And we would like to take question from the Japanese side. From Kyodo News, please.

QUESTION: (Via interpreter) Ichinose from Kyodo News. I have questions for both Minister Kishida and Minister Nakatani. In the joint statement, confirmation was once again made that the transfer of MCAS Futenma to Camp Schwab is the only solution and that the plan of the return of the land south of Kadena Base is to be renewed by next year. On the other hand, there is a strong negative reaction in the local community of Okinawa, and there seems to be a large gap between the positions of Government of Japan and Okinawa. Against this backdrop, how will the agreement between the two governments to be implemented? Could you mention concrete and specific means to go by?

FOREIGN MINISTER KISHIDA: (Via interpreter) Then I would first of all respond to the question. Now, MCAS Futenma is in the middle of the city, surrounded by houses and schools. Therefore, to have MCAS Futenma to stay in Futenma permanently is something to be absolutely avoided, and this I believe is the shared awareness of the Government of Japan and Okinawa. And the plan currently to transfer to Henoko, thinking both of maintaining deterrence and also removing the risks from Futenma – that will be the only valid solution, which has been confirmed again and again between Japanese and U.S. governments. And based upon such developments at this round of 2+2 meeting, we have once again emphasized the resolve to complete the current plan to make it possible the return of MCAS Futenma site.

At the same time, Abe government makes it top priority to mitigate impact on Okinawa. Even after Governor Onaga was elected, the policy of the Government of Japan is unchanged. At this round of 2+2 meeting, I have explained to the U.S. side on these points and have once again asked the cooperation from the U.S. side on the mitigation of impact on Okinawa – to be more specific, to see a return of the land south of Kadena Base as early as possible and to steadily implement the Marine Corps stationed in Okinawa to be moved to Guam. These things were asked to the U.S. side and asked for cooperation, and also asked that the U.S. side had to give us support for the early signing for the SOFA supplemental environmental stewardship agreement. And the U.S. side has indicated its commitment on mitigating impact on Okinawa. And as for the Government of Japan, based upon the outcome of the 2+2 meeting, we will continue to do our best in reducing the impact on Okinawa.

As for transfer of MCAS Futenma, we would continue to deepen our dialogue with the Okinawa prefectural government and to carefully explain the position of government, and to repetitively make efforts in good faith to gain understanding of the local community.

DEFENSE MINISTER NAKATANI: (Via interpreter) Now, in 2+2 meeting, the former governor of Okinawa said with respect to the termination of the use of Futenma Air Station in five years, and there is also a request for the reduction of the impact on Okinawa. And we sought cooperation from the U.S. side on this point, and to this, the U.S. demonstrated its commitment to the mitigation of the impact on Okinawa.

Regarding the relocation of MCAS Futenma to – well, it is not just simply move the – where it is to a new place. Right now, Osprey has been operated there, and also the operations of the tanker aircraft, and in emergencies this is a function of a base in an emergency where we can accommodate a lot of planes. Now, the – only the function of Osprey – the operation will be transferred, and all the two others will be relocated to the mainland Japan. And so the U.S. side made an enormous effort.

Now, with respect to the attacker aircraft, in April – August last year, all the aircraft – all 15 have been transferred, relocated to Iwakuni or in – well, Yamaguchi.

And also, the (inaudible) with respect to the area and the route, the – we are now making comparison with the relevant areas, and in fact, there is going to be marked reduction. And so the relocation to Henoko will greatly contribute to the Okinawa. So as soon as possible, the relocation of Futenma should be realized. We will make all possible efforts.

And also, with respect to the consolidation of the – of all U.S. facilities in the areas in Okinawa, 1,072 hectare will be relocated. And also, we will consult with the U.S. side. While maintaining the deterrence, we will continue to mitigate the impact on Okinawa. And so this is the thinking of the government. We believe it is necessary for us to continue to explain this, so we will need to deepen our conversation with the Okinawan people. And as far as I’m concerned, to the – at the earliest date, I would like to visit Okinawa and meet with the governor of Okinawa and other people concerned, and I will explain the national government’s position to them. Thank you.

MODERATOR: Great, our next (inaudible) is from Arshad Mohammed of Reuters. And the mike’s right behind you.

QUESTION: A question for Secretary Carter: When U.S. officials are asked whether the new guidelines, which obviously have been in the works for a long time, are directed at China, they typically say they’re not aimed at any country in particular. One, why should one not regard the new guidelines as substantially directed toward China given that one of the big changes in the world since 1997 has been the huge acceleration in Chinese military spending and its greater assertiveness in the region? And secondly, as you well know, the old guidelines in some ways dealt primarily with two situations: normal circumstances and then an attack on Japan or a situation in the region. Can you help us understand how it is that the new guidelines deal better with that gray area between outright – between normality on the one hand and outright conflict, and how they may better deter China from aggressive behavior in the region?

SECRETARY CARTER: Yes. Thank you for that. No, they’re not specifically aimed at China because there are other issues, both in that part of the world and globally, where the United States and Japan can, will and must cooperate. There’s North Korea, for example, and deterrence of provocative behavior by North Korea. That’s an important joint effort of the alliance and one that is strengthened in many ways through the guidelines. I mentioned space and cyber, which are domains that don’t have any national name on them but that are important new areas of mutual benefit.

And with respect to China, the Chinese behavior in the South China Sea, as one example, is interpreted by countries in the region as something that encourages their desire to partner with the United States. Obviously, Japan is our oldest and strongest and formal ally partner, but we’re willing to partner with every country in the region that wants to contribute to peace and stability there – and that includes China, by the way, where we have military-to-military ties also.

So the answer for this region isn’t for anybody to throw their weight around, and for the United States, the answer is to continue to partner with willing and capable partners in the region. Japan is the cornerstone alliance for us, and this allows us to expand the mission space, the geography, the ways we work together day by day. It’s not just a defense agreement; it talks about the need for the governments to cooperate across all of government, because today when something – a crisis happens, it frequently involves a couple of things: the economic dimension, the diplomatic dimension, the humanitarian dimension. So in all those ways, this points to something much broader than the previous guidelines, which were focused specifically on the defense of Japan by the United States and regions surrounding Japan. This addresses itself to a much wider world and to a much wider range of circumstances, and that includes ones in the region but also outside of the region.

MODERATOR: (Via interpreter) Now Mr. Tajima with Nikkei newspaper, please.

QUESTION: My name is Tajima. I would like to ask this question to the two ministers from Japan. Now, based on the revision of the guidelines, how are you going to proceed with the Japan-U.S. defense cooperation about the South China Sea? Minister Nakatani said that is a point of interest of the entire region. Now, the U.S. side is expecting the (inaudible) surveillance in South China Sea. Is it going to be done jointly by Japan and the U.S.? And also in the guidelines, there’s a mentioning of the minesweeping and also the ship inspection, and you said that you will consider it appropriately, but over the sea lanes in South China Sea and the Hormuz Strait and so on, if this kind of cooperation will be conducted?

DEFENSE MINISTER NAKATANI: (Via interpreter) Now, with respect to the new guidelines, in the new phase, Japan and the United States will cooperate regarding the maritime security. This has been pointed out and we have done consultations and this is a point that we emphasize. Now, specifically, there is the alliance coordination mechanism that is put in place and in peacetime, and also in emergency situations between Japan and the United States consultations will take place under this mechanism.

And the other point is a joint plan is to be made and specifically how should we act will also be consulted, and this mechanism is also in place. So by taking these measures, we should be able to make appropriate judgment regarding any situation in question.

Now, regarding the issues concerning the South China Sea, tomorrow as well with Secretary Carter we’ll have consultations. And for peace and stability, this is directly related. So this is a matter of concern for both Japan and the United States. Peaceful resolution needs to be secured and the – of course, we do see requests from neighboring countries about the code, and so including ASEAN, including all these countries we’ll have consultations and through that we need to secure the stability of this region, and I would like to consult with on this point as well. And there’s going to be a (inaudible) dialogue to take place quite soon, and so maritime peace and stability will be discussed on that occasion as well so that this sort of order will be maintained. We’ll make efforts along these lines.

FOREIGN MINISTER KISHIDA: (Via interpreter) Yes. For my part, I would also like to make some comments. Now, the new guidelines is to reflect the enhancement of solidarity and the expansion of the alliance and try harder to improve on the response capabilities as well as the effective deterrence so that we will be able to achieve peace and stability in the region. For the new guidelines, as Minister Nakatani has already mentioned, the general framework as well as the policy directions are being indicated. It is not targeted to any specific country or a situation in the region.

Now, the activities under the new guideline should, naturally, be in compliance of the constitution as well as your own country’s legislation in effect at the time. And you have given some examples in your question. As to the cooperation which you have pointed to, there are some parts which are related to the development of seamless security legislation. And going forward, we will have discussion, debate more specifically, on the seamless security legislation. So at this moment in time under the new guidelines, what would be the specific Japan-U.S. cooperation? I will refrain from pre-judging at this moment in time. In any case, the security environment surrounding Japan is becoming even more harsh and difficult. So inclusive of the new guidelines, we hope to promote a broad-based Japan-U.S. security and defense cooperation so that deterrence as well as response capabilities of the Japan-U.S. alliance will be further strengthened. Thank you.

SECRETARY KERRY: Thank you.

# # #

Secretary of State John Kerry Press Availability with Secretary of Defense Ash Carter, Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida, and Japanese Defense Minister Gen Nakatani Waldorf Astoria Hotel New York City, New York

SECRETARY KERRY: Well, good morning, everybody. It’s a great pleasure to welcome our Japanese colleagues, Foreign Minister Kishida and Defense Minister Nakatani, here to New York. And we are especially delighted to be here for this occasion, and obviously I’m very, very pleased to be joined by my colleague, the Secretary of Defense Ash Carter. And today, we mark the establishment of Japan’s capacity to defend not just its own territory, but also the United States and other partners as needed.

This is an historic meeting. It’s an historic transition in the defense relationship between our countries. And Secretary Carter and I are very, very grateful to have such willing and capable partners in arriving at this particular moment.

On behalf of the United States, let me begin by expressing our deepest condolences to all those who were affected by the earthquake in Nepal, including the families of those who died in Nepal, India, Bangladesh, and China. The images that everybody have seen are gut-wrenching, extraordinary devastation, young children carried away in ambulances, in villages – entire villages reduced to rubble, families mourning loved ones, people still asking questions and wondering about the next day, let alone the next hours.

We are working very closely with the Government of Nepal to provide assistance and support. And today, I’m announcing that the United States will provide an additional $9 million for Nepal earthquake response and recovery efforts; this is in addition to the 1 million already provided, so a total of $10 million at this moment.

The international community has mobilized a massive relief effort, and USAID has deployed a disaster assistance response team. We are activating additional urban search-and-rescue team members in order to accompany disaster experts and assist with assessments of the situation. And I want to thank Japan, especially, for their response, both in terms of money as well as sending a special disaster response team as well.

Tragedies of this magnitude underscore that in today’s world, next door is really everywhere, and it’s no secret that there is an enormous amount going on right now in the world – new opportunities, but also very real new dangers and emerging threats. Good friends in the course of all of this are really important, and they are especially welcome and necessary in order to meet the turbulence of these times. That is precisely why today’s meeting was so critical.

Though we live in different hemispheres at opposite ends of the globe, the United States could ask for no better friend or ally than Japan. Our alliance has long been the cornerstone of peace, stability, and prosperity across the Pacific. And for 70 years, U.S. forces in Japan have helped to safeguard the political, economic development of Northeast Asia. We have worked as partners to deter aggression, to respond to natural disasters, to combat terrorism, oppose proliferation, protect the region’s sea lanes, and foster extraordinary economic growth that is now transforming all of Asia.

Our dialogue this morning focused on particularly transformative achievement – the completion of the new guidelines for the U.S.-Japan defense cooperation, which is our first such revision since 1997. Obviously, an enormous amount has changed since 1997. Gradually, after long consideration, Japan has taken on itself a greater international role. Within the past decade, it has established a national security council, it has sent forces to Iraq and Kuwait, it has deployed peacekeepers to South Sudan and Haiti, and participated in Operation Enduring Freedom in the Indian Ocean – all of this during a period of evolving risks and dangers both in the Asia Pacific and across the globe.

The guidelines that we have worked on that have been announced today will enhance Japan’s security, deter threats, and contribute to regional peace and stability. The United States and Japan stand together in calling for disputes in the region to be resolved peacefully. We reject any suggestion that freedom of navigation, overflight, and other unlawful uses of the sea and airspace are privileges granted by big states to small ones, subject to the whim and fancy of a big state. And as President Obama has reaffirmed, our treaty commitments to Japan’s security remains ironclad and covers all territories under Japan’s administration, including the Senkaku Islands.

Decades after our modern partnership rose from the ashes of war, this alliance has matured into one of the strongest on Earth. Together we are working to manage the growing threat from North Korea, as well as tensions that are related to maritime security. We are adapting to emerging challenges in outer space, on cyber issues, and missile defense. And today we not only look back with pride on 70 years of peace, prosperity, and friendship with Japan, but we also look ahead as we chart a course in this defense guidelines agreement that will help to ensure our future is even more successful and more productive than our present or our past.

So I join Secretary Carter in thanking Foreign Minister Kishida and Defense Minister Nakatani for the productive discussions not just over the past day, but the enormous amount of work that went into since we announced this effort with Foreign Minister Kishida a year ago – or in 2013, two years now we’ve been working on this – and we look forward to continuing that work in the days ahead. Thank you.

SECRETARY CARTER: Well, let me join my colleague Secretary Kerry in sending our condolences, first of all, to all of the victims of the tragic earthquake in Nepal – victims from many countries, including our own. And I just wanted to note for those here that we’ve been working with our interagency partners to provide assistance. He mentioned one aspect of that; I also want to add that yesterday, two C-17s of the U.S. Air Force were dispatched to Nepal with USAID support, search and rescue personnel, and supplies on board. We expect them to arrive shortly and we expect to be doing more as and when called upon.

We have tremendous humanitarian capability and experience, as the response to the Nepal disaster shows, and we put that to work not long ago during Operation Tomodachi in Japan after the earthquake there. And that collaboration with Japan was just one instance – an important one – of U.S.-Japan defense cooperation that has transpired since the guidelines we’re discussing today were last updated 18 years ago. They were good guidelines. They allowed us to do many things, but today we’ve agreed to new guidelines that give us new opportunities to do new things, because the world has changed much since 18 years ago. The region – the Asia-Pacific region – has changed. Its weight in world affairs has increased, and that is reflected in our rebalance, the U.S. rebalance to the Asia-Pacific, including its expression in our own defense capabilities.

We face new threats, new domains, new geographies, and new capabilities. And in all of this, one thing remains the same, and that is our bedrock alliance: the alliance with Japan. That is, as Secretary Kerry said, the cornerstone of peace and stability in the region, and we are deeply committed both to Japan’s security and to security in the region.

Guidelines really represent a wonderful opportunity and a new high point in the alliance’s history. At a time when Japan’s own security posture is itself changing in historic ways, these guidelines allow us to modernize the U.S.-Japan alliance at the same time by breaking new ground on existing areas of military cooperation and helping us open new areas of military cooperation, both in the Asia Pacific and around the globe.

Under these new guidelines we can work in new domains, like space and cyberspace, and we can cooperate in new ways, both regionally and globally. I look forward to working with Minister Nakatani this week during Prime Minister Abe’s visit to Washington and in the coming months to implement the roles and missions detailed in these new guidelines. For example, tomorrow we’ll finalize plans for a bilateral space cooperation working group.

I recently returned from my first visit to the Asia Pacific as Secretary of Defense, and as I said on that trip, this region is so important to our nation’s and the world’s future. I’m personally committed to working with Secretary Kerry and others in the Administration on the next phase of the rebalance, as we work to deepen and diversify our diplomatic, economic, and military engagement in the region. The approval of the new defense guidelines marks an important step in the rebalance’s next phase. There will be many more.

I turn it over now to Foreign Minister Kishida. Please.

FOREIGN MINISTER KISHIDA: (Via interpreter) Today I am glad to report that we have made great achievements at the 2+2 meeting. I would like to express my gratitude to those who made efforts to realize such a successful meeting, Secretary Kerry and Secretary Carter in particular. I would also like to offer my deep condolence to all the victims of the recent earthquake in Nepal. Japan, in addition to assistance in goods of 25 million yen, we have decided 1 million – 1 billion yen, or more than $8 million of emergency grants in aid to be implemented. And the Japanese emergency relief unit rescue team are now being sent to the site. And in addition, 45 or so medical personnel team is to be newly sent. I hope that in responding to the situation, Japan and U.S. will be able to work in close partnership, including exchange of information on the ground. And we have already confirmed this at the 2+2 meeting.

Now, as to the meeting today, the meeting took place in this milestone year marking the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II, and successfully opened a new chapter in the long history of the Japan-U.S. security and defense cooperation. It will lead us to Prime Minister Abe’s visit to the United States, especially tomorrow’s summit meeting. To be more specific, we announced the release of the new guidelines for Japan-U.S. defense cooperation after 18 years from the last revision in 1997. The new guidelines reflect both the enhancement of solidarity and the expansion of cooperation between Japan and the United States. We intend to further strengthen deterrence and response capabilities of the alliance while promoting bilateral work under the new guidelines.

The new guidelines are the outcomes of efforts under Japan’s policy of proactive contribution to peace based on the principle of international cooperation and the rebalance policy of the U.S. side. The new guidelines will enhance synergies of both policies. Under the dynamic security environment, Japan will continue its path as a peace-loving nation in a consistent manner. Furthermore, Japan, in close cooperation with the United States, will continue to contribute even more proactively to ensuring peace, stability, and prosperity of not only Japan but the Asia Pacific region and the international community.

Taking various opportunities, we would like to spread the understanding of Japan’s position in the international community. On regional issues and security environment, we also exchange views at the 2+2 meeting. And the four of us reaffirmed that the Senkaku Islands are territories under the administration of Japan and therefore fall within the scope of the commitments under Article V of the Japan-U.S. Treaty of Mutual Cooperation and Security, and that we oppose any unilateral action that seeks to undermine Japan’s administration of the islands.

We have confidence in and highly appreciate the commitment of the U.S. Government. Moreover, in relation to the current situation in the South China Sea, we once again shared the recognition about the importance of the rule of law and will promote various measures in cooperation with the international community. We cannot let unilateral action to change the status quo to be condoned.

Regarding the realignment of U.S. forces in Japan, both governments reaffirmed that the plan to construct the Futenma replacement facility at Henoko is the only solution that avoids the continued use of MCAS, or Marine Corps Air Station, Futenma. I explained that the Government of Japan will move forward toward, while continuing dialogue with Okinawa, the plan’s completion with strong determination. We confirmed that the two governments are steadily implementing the relocation of the U.S. Marine Corps personnel from Okinawa to locations outside of Japan, including Guam, and the land return south of Kadena Air Base.

Also we share the view that in achieving progress in the realignment of U.S. forces in Japan, it is important to maintain deterrence and to mitigate the impact of U.S. forces on local communities. In particular, I asked for the cooperation from the United States, explaining that Government of Japan’s position on impact mitigation of Okinawa remains unchanged. And in response, the U.S. side reaffirmed its commitment to impact mitigation.

Regarding the agreement, the supplement, the Japan-U.S. Status of Forces Agreement on environmental stewardship, on which substantial agreement has been achieved in October last year, we confirmed our intention to continue negotiating the ancillary documents of the agreement, and we would like to continue our preparations necessary to achieve the signing as soon as possible.

Through today’s meeting, I am confident that we were able to show both inside and outside the stronger bilateral alliance. I am looking forward to work closely with the United States going forward. Thank you.

DEFENSE MINISTER NAKATANI: (Via interpreter) In December last year, I was appointed the defense minister for the second time and have been working on the strengthening of the Japan security and also in order to strengthen the Japan-U.S. alliance. And now as I look back, in 2011, when the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the Japan-U.S. Security Treaty, I participated in the ceremony, and also after 9/11, after the terrorist attack, there was defense ministers talks. And I also took part in it. And yesterday, in New York, I visited Ground Zero. And over there, about 2,000 people perished, but I offered the – a bouquet of flowers and expressed my sense of the – sympathy.

Now despite such massive damage, the United States is resolutely working on elimination of terrorism in the world. So to the United States for such efforts, I express my respect, and to those people who perished, the soldiers, I would like to offer my sympathies and tribute.

Now as minister for – responsible for defense, I have been coming to the United States for the first time in 14 years, and I now saw a success in conversion of this historic 2+2 meeting that decided the new guidelines; I’m very pleased. Now the greatest achievement of today’s 2+2 meeting is, for the first time, the revision of the guidelines has been made in 18 years. In the 18-year period, security involvement that surrounds Japan and the United States changed dramatically.

But there is something that has never changed. It is the importance of having to further strengthen Japan-U.S. defense cooperation. The new guidelines look at the world in the 21st century and security trend in the Asia Pacific region and draw a picture of Japan-U.S. defense cooperation in the coming decade and beyond. I believe that innovativeness of it will bring the Japan-U.S. alliance to a new stage.

In today’s meeting, with respect to the realignment of the U.S. forces in Japan, I explained the situation regarding this point of the realignment of U.S. forces in Japan – the point that the relocation to Camp Schwab is the only solution to avoid the indefinite news of Marine Corps Air Station Futenma that has been reconfirmed. Also, Foreign Minister Kishida and I requested for continued cooperation for mitigating the impact on Okinawa. And we agreed that Japan and the United States will continue to cooperate for alleviation of the impact on Okinawa.

Based upon these results, we will steadfastly implement realignment of the United States forces in Japan. Through today’s historic meeting, Japan-U.S. alliance has moved forward to a new stage, has been demonstrated to the world. Tomorrow, along with the Japan-U.S. summit meeting, there will be a Japan-U.S. defense ministerial talks between Secretary Carter and me. Through these opportunities, while fully ensuring good bilateral communications based on today’s results, I’ll press forward toward an even greater alliance cooperation in the coming period.

And lastly, I would like to make announcement about the response to Nepal. My heart goes out to all the people who were affected by the disaster. At the ministry of defense, we have dispatched (inaudible) that is now studying the damage and needs for support and collecting information. And on the 27th, the Japanese time, we met a request from the Nepali Government, and we will dispatch the 20-strong team of – for medical assistance and disaster assistance. Including the first team, about 110 people will be dispatched. In addition to the relief team, the goods necessary for medical relief and assistance will be transported by the Air Self-Defense Forces aircraft.

So in this kind of – the humanitarian assistance and the disaster relief that is emphasized in the new guidelines, so on this kind of a front as well, we would like to see further Japan-U.S. cooperation. Thank you.

MODERATOR: Questions now. The first question is from Michael Gordon of The New York Times, and the mike is right behind you.

QUESTION: Sir, a question for Secretary Carter and for the Japanese Defense Minister, Mr. Nakatani. The point has been made that these new guidelines will allow Japan not only to defend its own territory but to defend the United States and other partners as needed, as Secretary Kerry said. Can you please provide some specific, concrete examples of what Japan will be able to do now under the new guidelines that it wasn’t able to do previously under the old guidelines, and how this might better position the alliance to deal with challenges in the South China Sea?

And a question for Secretary Kerry. Sir, you will be speaking later today in a meeting later today with Foreign Minister Zarif of Iran. Is there a role for Iran in working out a political solution to the crisis in Yemen? And will you be discussing Yemen with him during your meeting?

SECRETARY CARTER: So let’s see. I think the first part of your question, Michael, I’ll address briefly. But I think it was – was that mostly for Minister Nakatani?

QUESTION: Both of you.

SECRETARY CARTER: Both of us, okay.

QUESTION: (Inaudible.)

SECRETARY CARTER: It is. (Laughter.) There are several ways in which the guidelines create new opportunities for us. With respect to geography, the guidelines that are in – were concluded 18 years ago and that are in force now speak to security situations in the areas surrounding Japan. The current guidelines are unrestricted with respect to geography. So anywhere else where our two governments, separately using their own constitutional procedures, decide we have a common interest and want to work together, these guidelines now permit that under the framework of the alliance. That’s a very big change from being locally focused to being globally focused. And of course, it’s completely appropriate given the way the world has changed since 1997. Let me now ask my friend again to add.

DEFENSE MINISTER NAKATANI: (Via interpreter) it is – shows (inaudible) direction of the policy. So it is not really looking at any specific situation in any specific region, but in studying the new guidelines, at all phases Japan and the United States, regarding the maritime security, we will cooperate. That is one of the points of emphasis. Now furthermore, south – regarding the issues surrounding South China Sea, that is directly related with the world peace and stability of the region. So this is common interest for the two countries.

So in today’s 2+2, including the situation of the South China Sea, with respect to the importance of the rule of law, the same recognition was made. So in the joint statement in South China Sea, including the matters concerning security, the – we will – regarding the Japan-U.S. cooperation in human resource development, there has been advancement, and that has been noted. And also in the Middle East, the Hormuz Strait, the marine sweeping, and also ship inspection – whether we will cooperate or not now based on these guidelines, based on the laws and regulations, and looking at the specific situation, we’ll make an appropriate decision. At any rate, under these guidelines with the United States, how to – we’ll proceed with the defense cooperation. We’ll have Japan-U.S. defense ministerial talks tomorrow with Secretary Carter and we would like to confirm these points. Thank you.

SECRETARY KERRY: Yes, I will be meeting with Foreign Minister Zarif later today. And obviously, the predominant discussion will be about the nuclear agreement and our efforts to build on the framework that has been announced and meet our deadline of June 30th. But I would be surprised – in fact, I’m confident that Yemen will be mentioned, certainly. Because Iran is obviously a supportive party to the Houthis. And the Saudi shift from phase one into a political phase and humanitarian phase with the reduction of the air campaign was predicated on the notion that people would freeze in place and that you would go to those talks held by the UN and hopefully begin to have a political solution. But what happened was the Houthi began to take advantage of the absence of air campaign, moving not only additionally on Aden, but moving in other parts of the country and shifting artillery and taking certain elements of the Yemen army under fire. So that elicited a further response, and I think it’s important for all parties – all parties – to adhere to international law, to the United Nations resolutions, and to get to the negotiating table as fast as possible. And I will certainly urge that everybody do their part to try to reduce the violence and allow the negotiations to begin in a way that will protect the interests of Yemenis. Yemen’s future should be decided by Yemenis. All Yemenis have a right to come to that table and be part of that, but it should be decided by Yemenis on both sides of the current dispute, not by external parties and proxies.

MODERATOR: (Via interpreter) And we would like to take question from the Japanese side. From Kyodo News, please.

QUESTION: (Via interpreter) Ichinose from Kyodo News. I have questions for both Minister Kishida and Minister Nakatani. In the joint statement, confirmation was once again made that the transfer of MCAS Futenma to Camp Schwab is the only solution and that the plan of the return of the land south of Kadena Base is to be renewed by next year. On the other hand, there is a strong negative reaction in the local community of Okinawa, and there seems to be a large gap between the positions of Government of Japan and Okinawa. Against this backdrop, how will the agreement between the two governments to be implemented? Could you mention concrete and specific means to go by?

FOREIGN MINISTER KISHIDA: (Via interpreter) Then I would first of all respond to the question. Now, MCAS Futenma is in the middle of the city, surrounded by houses and schools. Therefore, to have MCAS Futenma to stay in Futenma permanently is something to be absolutely avoided, and this I believe is the shared awareness of the Government of Japan and Okinawa. And the plan currently to transfer to Henoko, thinking both of maintaining deterrence and also removing the risks from Futenma – that will be the only valid solution, which has been confirmed again and again between Japanese and U.S. governments. And based upon such developments at this round of 2+2 meeting, we have once again emphasized the resolve to complete the current plan to make it possible the return of MCAS Futenma site.

At the same time, Abe government makes it top priority to mitigate impact on Okinawa. Even after Governor Onaga was elected, the policy of the Government of Japan is unchanged. At this round of 2+2 meeting, I have explained to the U.S. side on these points and have once again asked the cooperation from the U.S. side on the mitigation of impact on Okinawa – to be more specific, to see a return of the land south of Kadena Base as early as possible and to steadily implement the Marine Corps stationed in Okinawa to be moved to Guam. These things were asked to the U.S. side and asked for cooperation, and also asked that the U.S. side had to give us support for the early signing for the SOFA supplemental environmental stewardship agreement. And the U.S. side has indicated its commitment on mitigating impact on Okinawa. And as for the Government of Japan, based upon the outcome of the 2+2 meeting, we will continue to do our best in reducing the impact on Okinawa.

As for transfer of MCAS Futenma, we would continue to deepen our dialogue with the Okinawa prefectural government and to carefully explain the position of government, and to repetitively make efforts in good faith to gain understanding of the local community.

DEFENSE MINISTER NAKATANI: (Via interpreter) Now, in 2+2 meeting, the former governor of Okinawa said with respect to the termination of the use of Futenma Air Station in five years, and there is also a request for the reduction of the impact on Okinawa. And we sought cooperation from the U.S. side on this point, and to this, the U.S. demonstrated its commitment to the mitigation of the impact on Okinawa.

Regarding the relocation of MCAS Futenma to – well, it is not just simply move the – where it is to a new place. Right now, Osprey has been operated there, and also the operations of the tanker aircraft, and in emergencies this is a function of a base in an emergency where we can accommodate a lot of planes. Now, the – only the function of Osprey – the operation will be transferred, and all the two others will be relocated to the mainland Japan. And so the U.S. side made an enormous effort.

Now, with respect to the attacker aircraft, in April – August last year, all the aircraft – all 15 have been transferred, relocated to Iwakuni or in – well, Yamaguchi.

And also, the (inaudible) with respect to the area and the route, the – we are now making comparison with the relevant areas, and in fact, there is going to be marked reduction. And so the relocation to Henoko will greatly contribute to the Okinawa. So as soon as possible, the relocation of Futenma should be realized. We will make all possible efforts.

And also, with respect to the consolidation of the – of all U.S. facilities in the areas in Okinawa, 1,072 hectare will be relocated. And also, we will consult with the U.S. side. While maintaining the deterrence, we will continue to mitigate the impact on Okinawa. And so this is the thinking of the government. We believe it is necessary for us to continue to explain this, so we will need to deepen our conversation with the Okinawan people. And as far as I’m concerned, to the – at the earliest date, I would like to visit Okinawa and meet with the governor of Okinawa and other people concerned, and I will explain the national government’s position to them. Thank you.

MODERATOR: Great, our next (inaudible) is from Arshad Mohammed of Reuters. And the mike’s right behind you.

QUESTION: A question for Secretary Carter: When U.S. officials are asked whether the new guidelines, which obviously have been in the works for a long time, are directed at China, they typically say they’re not aimed at any country in particular. One, why should one not regard the new guidelines as substantially directed toward China given that one of the big changes in the world since 1997 has been the huge acceleration in Chinese military spending and its greater assertiveness in the region? And secondly, as you well know, the old guidelines in some ways dealt primarily with two situations: normal circumstances and then an attack on Japan or a situation in the region. Can you help us understand how it is that the new guidelines deal better with that gray area between outright – between normality on the one hand and outright conflict, and how they may better deter China from aggressive behavior in the region?

SECRETARY CARTER: Yes. Thank you for that. No, they’re not specifically aimed at China because there are other issues, both in that part of the world and globally, where the United States and Japan can, will and must cooperate. There’s North Korea, for example, and deterrence of provocative behavior by North Korea. That’s an important joint effort of the alliance and one that is strengthened in many ways through the guidelines. I mentioned space and cyber, which are domains that don’t have any national name on them but that are important new areas of mutual benefit.

And with respect to China, the Chinese behavior in the South China Sea, as one example, is interpreted by countries in the region as something that encourages their desire to partner with the United States. Obviously, Japan is our oldest and strongest and formal ally partner, but we’re willing to partner with every country in the region that wants to contribute to peace and stability there – and that includes China, by the way, where we have military-to-military ties also.

So the answer for this region isn’t for anybody to throw their weight around, and for the United States, the answer is to continue to partner with willing and capable partners in the region. Japan is the cornerstone alliance for us, and this allows us to expand the mission space, the geography, the ways we work together day by day. It’s not just a defense agreement; it talks about the need for the governments to cooperate across all of government, because today when something – a crisis happens, it frequently involves a couple of things: the economic dimension, the diplomatic dimension, the humanitarian dimension. So in all those ways, this points to something much broader than the previous guidelines, which were focused specifically on the defense of Japan by the United States and regions surrounding Japan. This addresses itself to a much wider world and to a much wider range of circumstances, and that includes ones in the region but also outside of the region.

MODERATOR: (Via interpreter) Now Mr. Tajima with Nikkei newspaper, please.

QUESTION: My name is Tajima. I would like to ask this question to the two ministers from Japan. Now, based on the revision of the guidelines, how are you going to proceed with the Japan-U.S. defense cooperation about the South China Sea? Minister Nakatani said that is a point of interest of the entire region. Now, the U.S. side is expecting the (inaudible) surveillance in South China Sea. Is it going to be done jointly by Japan and the U.S.? And also in the guidelines, there’s a mentioning of the minesweeping and also the ship inspection, and you said that you will consider it appropriately, but over the sea lanes in South China Sea and the Hormuz Strait and so on, if this kind of cooperation will be conducted?

DEFENSE MINISTER NAKATANI: (Via interpreter) Now, with respect to the new guidelines, in the new phase, Japan and the United States will cooperate regarding the maritime security. This has been pointed out and we have done consultations and this is a point that we emphasize. Now, specifically, there is the alliance coordination mechanism that is put in place and in peacetime, and also in emergency situations between Japan and the United States consultations will take place under this mechanism.

And the other point is a joint plan is to be made and specifically how should we act will also be consulted, and this mechanism is also in place. So by taking these measures, we should be able to make appropriate judgment regarding any situation in question.

Now, regarding the issues concerning the South China Sea, tomorrow as well with Secretary Carter we’ll have consultations. And for peace and stability, this is directly related. So this is a matter of concern for both Japan and the United States. Peaceful resolution needs to be secured and the – of course, we do see requests from neighboring countries about the code, and so including ASEAN, including all these countries we’ll have consultations and through that we need to secure the stability of this region, and I would like to consult with on this point as well. And there’s going to be a (inaudible) dialogue to take place quite soon, and so maritime peace and stability will be discussed on that occasion as well so that this sort of order will be maintained. We’ll make efforts along these lines.

FOREIGN MINISTER KISHIDA: (Via interpreter) Yes. For my part, I would also like to make some comments. Now, the new guidelines is to reflect the enhancement of solidarity and the expansion of the alliance and try harder to improve on the response capabilities as well as the effective deterrence so that we will be able to achieve peace and stability in the region. For the new guidelines, as Minister Nakatani has already mentioned, the general framework as well as the policy directions are being indicated. It is not targeted to any specific country or a situation in the region.

Now, the activities under the new guideline should, naturally, be in compliance of the constitution as well as your own country’s legislation in effect at the time. And you have given some examples in your question. As to the cooperation which you have pointed to, there are some parts which are related to the development of seamless security legislation. And going forward, we will have discussion, debate more specifically, on the seamless security legislation. So at this moment in time under the new guidelines, what would be the specific Japan-U.S. cooperation? I will refrain from pre-judging at this moment in time. In any case, the security environment surrounding Japan is becoming even more harsh and difficult. So inclusive of the new guidelines, we hope to promote a broad-based Japan-U.S. security and defense cooperation so that deterrence as well as response capabilities of the Japan-U.S. alliance will be further strengthened. Thank you.

SECRETARY KERRY: Thank you.

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