Remarks By Acting Secretary Shanahan At An Enhanced Honor Cordon And Meeting Welcoming Japanese Minister Of Defense Iwaya To The Pentagon

Acting Secretary Of Defense Patrick M. Shanahan; Japanese Minister of Defense Takeshi Iwaya


ACTING SECRETARY OF DEFENSE PATRICK SHANAHAN:  Is everybody set there?  Oh, very good.

So, Minister Iwaya, it's so good to have you back in the Pentagon.  It feels like just yesterday you were here.

(Laughter.)

Even though we've only worked together a few times, it feels like we've worked together a long time.

I thought this morning's 2-plus-2 was very productive, but this meeting will be very productive.

I -- I think we're in a very opportunistic situation, where now we can do integration and execution.  Both our strategies are well-defined and well-developed.  Now is our chance to bring them together.  I have -- I've had the team put them side by side and I want to show you they -- all the overlap and the places where they fit very well together.

I wrote an equation today:  Success equals the alliance plus the commitment plus leadership.  And you have shown great, strong leadership.  And I expect because of our ability to work together, we'll see much success.  I look forward to us rolling up our sleeves today and working together.

MINISTER OF DEFENSE TAKESHI IWAYA (THROUGH TRANSLATOR):  Thank you very much, Mr. Secretary.

It is my great honor to meet you again here at the Pentagon since we last met this January.  It's been two years since our last 2-plus-2 meeting, and I am very much delighted that we have concluded our latest one successfully.

I would like to take this occasion once again to extend to you, Secretary Shanahan, as well as Secretary Pompeo's great leadership, to make this meeting a successful one.

Mr. Secretary, you described how you read through all the -- our National Defense Program Guidelines.

SEC. SHANAHAN:  Thank you.

MIN. IWAYA (THROUGH TRANSLATOR):  And I might just -- and I might say that you might know more about it than we do.

(Laughter.)

MIN. IWAYA (THROUGH TRANSLATOR):  But it is true that we are (inaudible), our documents are aligned and there are more that we can do together, between Japan and the United States alliance.

And we have various items that we can even deepen our cooperation so that we can contribute to maintaining the peace and security of this region as well as this world.

So I look forward to today's discussion on ways how we can deepen our cooperation, including in (inaudible) domains.  And finally, I would like to take this opportunity to thank the United States and U.S. forces for your support for JASDF F-35A, which was recently involved in a mishap off the cost of North Japan.

Your helping hand are -- made our alliance relationship a stronger one.  And when a tragedy like this occurs, we are reminded of the strength and value of our alliance.

SEC. SHANAHAN:  Thank you.

Q:  Mr. Secretary, do you support General Haftar's assault on Tripoli?

SEC. SHANAHAN:  So, Lucas, I think there -- what I would say is, a military solution is not what Libya needs.  What we've said before and what I do support is Field Marshal Haftar's support in terms of his role in counterterrorism.  But where we need Field Marshal Haftar's support is in building democratic stability there in the region.

Q:  Did the president contact you before he made the phone call to General Haftar?

SEC. SHANAHAN:  The department and the executive branch are well-aligned on Libya.

(CROSSTALK)

Q:  Minister, are you afraid that the Chinese are going to find the F-35 before your forces or U.S. forces?

SEC. SHANAHAN:  I told him no.

(Laughter.)

MIN. IWAYA (THROUGH TRANSLATOR):  So I will say that possibility, we don't have such possibility, absolutely no.  We are conducting our surveillance and warning activity so that we can identify and find the missing aircraft.

Q:  Mr. Secretary, a question for you.

What steps is the Pentagon taking to comply with the ban on Huawei and other Chinese telecom companies?  And does the U.S. expect allies to follow suit?

SEC. SHANAHAN:  Is there -- there's not an official ban, right?

Q:  The -- in the congressional mandate.

SEC. SHANAHAN:  Right.

You know, the way I'd -- I would put it, effort is on finding better technical solutions to the Huawei.

You know, the thing that we want to do with cyber-security is be dependent on ourselves, and we're building better technical solutions so that others adopt those solutions.  That's going to be part of the discussion we have today, how we build networks that we can trust.

Q:  And, Mr. Minister, one question:  Are you concerned about the lack of progress in the U.S.-North Korea talks, especially given the recent North Korea weapons test?

MIN. IWAYA (THROUGH TRANSLATOR):  We believe in President Trump's word that he will continue to have constructive talk with North Korea.  And we will also work step by step so that we can reach the complete denuclearization of North Korea.

And in addition to that, we would also like to move forward and make progress on abduction issue.

SEC. SHANAHAN:  OK, thanks, everybody.  Appreciate your time.  Yeah.  Have a wonderful weekend