Pentagon Press Secretary Brig. General Pat Ryder provided the following reading:
Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III met with his Japanese counterpart, Defense Minister Hamada Yasukazu, and held separate talks with Prime Minister Kishida Fumio, Foreign Minister Hayashi Yoshimasa and National Security Adviser Akiba Takeo on June 1 in Tokyo.
The purpose of his visit to Tokyo was to build on the Alliance’s momentum to implement the results of the January 2023 Security Advisory Committee (2+2) and the President’s visit to Japan in May 2023.
Secretary Austin outlined with Minister Hamada the progress in modernizing the alliance’s roles and missions, updating the force’s posture and networking with like-minded partners since the 2+2 Ministerial. Noting the alignment between the US and Japan’s assessments of the regional threat landscape and a shared commitment to deepening multilateral cooperation, Secretary Austin applauded Japan’s determination to bolster its defense through investments in advanced capabilities and cooperation. with partners. In particular, the Secretary commended Minister Hamada for his handling of Japan’s decision to acquire counter-attack capabilities. The leaders discussed concerns about the regional security environment and the importance of increasing bilateral exercises and training in areas including the southwestern islands of Japan, as discussed at the 2+2 meeting. They stressed the importance of bilateral work in realignment efforts of US forces and pledged to boost cooperation on advanced technologies, including hypersonic defense and autonomous systems.
The Secretary paid a courtesy call on Prime Minister Kishida and Japan’s National Security Adviser Akiba, underscoring the United States’ commitment to Japan’s defense. Secretary Austin conveyed his congratulations on the successful meeting of the Group of Seven in Hiroshima, highlighting Japan’s continued critical role regionally and globally. Secretary Austin also expressed his appreciation for Japan’s leadership in opposing Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, such as its commitment to provide defensive aid to Ukraine.
The Secretary reemphasized with Minister Hayashi the US’s unwavering commitment to Japan’s defense under the Mutual Security and Cooperation Treaty, including extended US deterrence supported by the full range of conventional and nuclear. In addition, the leaders discussed opportunities to expand trilateral cooperation with the ROK on a variety of issues, including by expanding information sharing. The Secretary also welcomed Japan’s progress towards the entry into force of the Reciprocal Access Agreements with Australia and the United Kingdom and highlighted the value of the Alliance working together with a variety of other Indo-Pacific and European partners.
Secretary Austin reaffirmed the historic progress that the leaders of both countries have made in strengthening the Alliance and enhancing peace, prosperity and stability in the Indo-Pacific region.