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American Forces Press Service

Officials Discuss Report on U.S.-Japan Defense Guidelines

By Jim Garamone
DoD News, Defense Media Activity

WASHINGTON, Oct. 8, 2014 – U.S. officials yesterday gave an interim report on progress of revising the guidelines for U.S.-Japanese Defense Cooperation.

The officials, speaking on background, said the new guidelines are in response to new threats extant in the world and to a new willingness of Japan to embrace a greater role in the world.

The last time the guidelines were revised was 1997 and that was done in repose to the end of the Cold War and the growth of North Korean missile technology.

New guidelines cover cyber, space realms

The new guidelines cover operations in the cyber world and in space. It also discusses new challenges to freedom of navigation, and the further growth of the North Korean threat. The revision grew out of the so-called 2-plus-two talks last year between Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, Secretary of State John F. Kerry and their Japanese counterparts.

The new guidelines, "capture the greater scope of our alliance cooperation, reflecting its more global nature," said a senior State Department official.

For the United States, the revision continues the whole-of-government rebalance to the Asia-Pacific region. For Japan, the revision "corresponds to its efforts for the defense of its territory and people and the policy of 'Proactive Contribution to Peace' based on the principle of international cooperation," according to the interim report.

The areas under discussion include joint information sharing, cooperation in space and cyber, non-combatant evacuations, the role of intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance, air and ballistic missile defense, peacekeeping, logistics support and maritime security.

The officials stressed this is an interim report, and said they are on track for the final report to be completed by the end of the year. "There is a lot of work cut out for us ahead," said a senior defense official.

Reflection of U.S.-Japan alliance

The guidelines seek to expand the scope of cooperation to reflect the global nature of the U.S.-Japan alliance. "The two governments will enhance bilateral cooperation in various areas to generate a more peaceful and stable international security environment," the interim report states.

One large difference from the present guidelines is the emphasis on trilateral and multilateral security and defense cooperation with regional allies and partners.

Working together

"The revised Guidelines will lay out how the two governments will work together to promote security and defense cooperation based on international law and internationally accepted norms," the report states.

The final guidelines will address how the United States and Japan will work with friends and allies in peacekeeping operations, international humanitarian assistance/disaster relief, maritime security, capacity building, logistics support and noncombatant evacuation operations.

Today's threats are often amorphous and can have immediate impacts on countries that are not even the main targets.

"In view of such a complex security environment, the two governments will take measures to prevent the deterioration of Japan's security in all phases, seamlessly, from peacetime to contingencies," the report says.

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