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American Forces Press Service News Article

U.S., Japan Announce Defense Guidelines

By Jim Garamone
American Forces Press Service
	WASHINGTON -- The United States and Japan have agreed to revamp 
guidelines steering their alliance, U.S. officials announced in New 
York Sept. 23.
	Pentagon officials said the guidelines, last changed in 1978, are 
the touchstone of security in Asia. They provide the framework for how 
the United States and Japan will work together in peace and war. 
Defense Secretary William S. Cohen said the guidelines mean greater 
defense cooperation between the two countries is the norm.
	The guidelines resulted from the "U.S.-Japan Joint Declaration of 
Security" issued in 1996.
	The U.S.-Japan alliance affects all countries in the Asia-Pacific 
region. Both parties worked to keep the process open. "We made the 
deliberations as transparent and open as possible to alleviate any 
concerns on the part of China," Cohen said at the news conference 
announcing the guidelines.
	In peacetime, the guidelines call for closer cooperation between 
the two countries. This includes matters such as information sharing 
and policy consultations. 
	Most of the guidelines clarify the rear area support Japan would 
provide to the United States in a crisis. Pentagon officials said this 
was motivated by the Persian Gulf War and the 1993 nuclear crisis on 
the Korean Peninsula. The Japanese constitution complicates the 
situation because it severely limits that country's military 
establishment and actions.
	Japanese rear area support includes U.S. use of airfields, ports 
and who would provide security in those areas. The guidelines also 
cover what support Japan would provide during a regional crisis. 
Japanese mine sweepers, for example, will now operate in international 
waters and support freedom of navigation operations/missions, Pentagon 
officials said. The Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Forces could take 
over much of the routine patrolling and overflight of the sea-lines of 
	Japan and the United States will cooperate in noncombatant 
evacuation operations where the nationals of both countries are at 
	Japan has been sending more military forces overseas in support 
of U.N. operations, for example, to Cambodia. It will also participate 
in ship inspections in support of U.N. Security Council resolutions 
under this agreement. The defense guidelines define U.S.-Japanese 
relations during these operations.
	The guidelines commit the United States to maintaining troops in 
Japan as part of the overall strategy of forward presence. Currently, 
47,000 American troops are in Japan out of the 100,000 service members 
in Asia. 
	The Japanese parliament must approve the guidelines.

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