Readout of Secretary of Defense James Mattis’ Meeting with Japanese Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera
Secretary of Defense James N. Mattis met with Japanese Minister of Defense Itsunori Onodera at the Pentagon today.
Secretary of Defense James Mattis welcomed his Japanese counterpart, Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera, to the Pentagon today. This was their third meeting since Minister Onodera assumed his responsibilities in August of last year.
Secretary Mattis and Defense Minister Onodera discussed ways to further strengthen the U.S.- Japan Alliance, positively noting the increasing role the Japan Self-Defense Force is playing in regional security, including UNSCR enforcement and mutual asset protection operations.
Recognizing the threat posed by North Korea’s unlawful nuclear and missile programs, Secretary Mattis and Defense Minister Onodera affirmed the importance of close cooperation among the United States, Japan, Korea and other like-minded nations in providing credible military backing to the maximum pressure campaign. Additionally, the ministers agreed to continue enhancing the alliance capability to deter and respond to any North Korean aggression.
Secretary Mattis discussed the recently released U.S. National Defense Strategy, and welcomed Japan’s determination to similarly review its National Defense Program Guidelines by the end of this year.
Both leaders re-affirmed the importance of continued progress on the realignment of U.S. Forces in Japan, including recent efforts to realize the permanent location for a Field Carrier Landing facility.