U.S.-Japan Defense Chiefs Meet
By Jim Garamone
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, Dec. 10, 2001 Japanese Self-Defense Force ships and planes are helping in the coalition against global terrorism.
Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld met Dec. 10 with Gen Nakatani, director general of the Japan Defense Agency. The two men discussed a range of issues including strengthening the strategic relationship with Japan, cooperation Japan is providing in the war on terrorism, and the steps that the government of Japan is taking to evolve the role of its military.
Rumsfeld told reporters that the Japanese contribution to the effort was substantial and needed.
"Japan takes this fight against terrorism as its own security issue," Nakatani said via a translator. He noted Japan has dispatched Self-Defense Force vessels to the region and also has deployed aircraft to support U.S. operations.
Japan is also conducting humanitarian relief activities and delivering humanitarian supplies to displaced Afghans in Pakistan.
Nakatani said the Afghanistan campaign is the Japanese Self-Defense Force's first significant overseas operation. He said it was the "first challenge and first trial" of the U.S.-Japan Alliance. He said the Japanese contingent would make every effort and put all its energy into ensuring the success of the operation.
The Japanese dispatched three destroyers into the Indian Ocean. They are the Kurama, the Kirisame and the Sawagiri. The supply ships Towada and Hamana support them. Also in the region is the minesweeper tender Uraga.
The Japanese are also flying C-130s and U-4 jets in support of operations in the region.