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U.S.-Japan Alliance is Cornerstone of Security in Asia, says 7th Fleet Commander

Navy NewsStand

Story Number: NNS100113-05
Release Date: 1/13/2010 7:02:00 PM

From U.S. 7th Fleet Public Affairs

YOKOSUKA, Japan (NNS) -- On the eve of the 50th anniversary of the U.S.-Japan security treaty, the U.S. Navy's senior commander in the Western Pacific called the alliance the "cornerstone of peace and stability throughout the Asia-Pacific region."

"I consider our alliance with Japan to be critical to the security and stability of this region, and I know our Sailors do as well," said Vice Adm. John Bird, commander, U.S. 7th Fleet.

"For the past half century this treaty has successfully deterred aggression, while promoting common values of freedom and democracy, and creating the conditions that have allowed the economies of Japan and nations around the region to flourish."

Jan. 19 marks the 50th anniversary of signing of the Treaty of Mutual Cooperation and Security between the U.S. and Japan. Signed in Washington D.C. in 1960 and ratified later that year by both nations, the document has served as foundation for the U.S. Navy's strong working relationship with the Japan Maritime Self Defense Force.

JMSDF and 7th Fleet forces work together on daily basis to train, share information, coordinate operations, and plan for contingencies. The bilateral Annual Exercise (ANNUALEX), held last November with nearly 30 ships participating to focus on enhancing command and control and air, undersea and surface warfare, has been conducted more than 20 times since its inception.

U.S. Navy and JMSDF ships throughout Japan will be in full dress ship on Jan. 19 to mark the anniversary. Additionally, the destroyers USS Lassen and JS Oonami will conduct a joint colors ceremony in Yokosuka. Other celebrations will be held throughout the year, to include personnel exchanges, sister ship and squadron events, community service projects and port visits.

Bird said the commemoration of the alliance symbolizes how the maritime relationship is honed, tested and strengthened on a daily basis.

"Our mutual understanding of commitments to each other under the security treaty is the reason for this incredible bond between our Sailors and between our nations," said Bird. "This alliance has served as the basis for our strong relationship with the JMSDF, arguably the most critical navy-to-navy partnership in the world."

For more news from Commander, U.S. 7th Fleet, visit www.navy.mil/local/c7f/.



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