Readout of Bilateral Meeting with Japan Defense Minister
Secretary of Defense Spokesperson Captain Jeff Davis provided the following readout:
Secretary of Defense James Mattis met with his Japanese counterpart, Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera, in Hawaii on May 29. This was their fourth meeting since Minister Onodera assumed his responsibilities in August of 2017.
Secretary Mattis and Defense Minister Onodera re-affirmed that the United States and Japan remain committed to the complete, verifiable, and irreversible dismantlement of North Korea’s nuclear, ballistic missile, and chemical and biological programs. Both countries will maintain economic and diplomatic pressure in advance of a potential U.S.-North Korea summit.
Secretary Mattis commended Japan’s lead role disrupting DPRK illegal ship-to-ship transfers in the region and allowing multinational forces to temporarily operate from Japan to support the enforcement of relevant United Nations Security Council Resolutions.
Both ministers affirmed a shared vision for a free and open Indo-Pacific region, and the importance of advancing bilateral, trilateral, and multilateral relationships and mechanisms to reinforce a networked security architecture of likeminded countries.
The ministers discussed other regional security issues, including the importance of maritime security; and reaffirmed that freedom of navigation and overflight must be ensured, and that disputes should be resolved in a peaceful manner. Both ministers noted China’s actions to militarize disputed features run contrary to the goal of a peaceful, rules-based, open Indo-Pacific region.
The United States reaffirmed its ironclad defense commitments to Japan, and pledged to continue working closely together towards regional peace and stability.