U.S. Department of Defense
|Release No. NR-428-16||December 06, 2016|
Pentagon Press Secretary Peter Cook provided the following readout:
Secretary of Defense Ash Carter met today with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in Tokyo, Japan. This was his second meeting with the prime minister.
During their meeting, the two leaders discussed the rapidly evolving security environment, including the persistent North Korean threat and maritime issues in the East and South China Seas. Secretary Carter noted that the U.S.-Japan alliance is the strongest it has ever been. He thanked Prime Minister Abe for his leadership and vision, and welcomed his upcoming visit to Hawaii with President Obama.
Secretary Carter reaffirmed that the Senkaku Islands are administered by Japan and fall under Article V of the U.S.-Japan Mutual Security Treaty. The two leaders affirmed both governments' determination to uphold the principle of freedom of navigation, and to continue to conduct maritime operations in accordance with international law.
The two leaders exchanged views on building a principled and inclusive security network in the Asia-Pacific, to include enhancing trilateral cooperation with the Republic of Korea (ROK). Secretary Carter congratulated the prime minister for concluding a bilateral Japan-ROK General Security of Military Information Agreement that will increase information sharing and strengthen security cooperation between the United States' two closest allies in Northeast Asia.
Secretary Carter and Prime Minister Abe affirmed the importance of making progress on realignment efforts in Japan and pledged to work closely together to enable the return of close to 10,000 acres of the Northern Training Area on Dec. 22, constituting the largest U.S. land return in Japan since 1972.
The two leaders committed to further efforts to transform the alliance by implementing the 2015 Guidelines for U.S.-Japan Defense Cooperation. Secretary Carter and Prime Minister Abe reaffirmed that the U.S.-Japan alliance remains unwavering and continues to serve as the cornerstone of peace and security in the Asia-Pacific region.
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