News / USA

US, Japan Agree to Bolster Defenses

John Kerry and Chuck Hagel shake hands with Itsunori Onodera and Fumio Kishida, before the Japan-US 2+2 meeting in Tokyo, Oct. 3, 2013.
John Kerry and Chuck Hagel shake hands with Itsunori Onodera and Fumio Kishida, before the Japan-US 2+2 meeting in Tokyo, Oct. 3, 2013.
Daniel Schearf
The United States and Japan have agreed to boost regional military surveillance amid territorial tensions with China and nuclear and missile threats from North Korea. After security talks in Tokyo, U.S. defense officials also welcomed Japan playing a larger role in its own national defense.
 
For the first time, the Pentagon will rotate long-distance surveillance drones to Japan and deploy its new P-8 maritime patrol aircraft.
 
The two sides' top defense chiefs and diplomats also agreed to position a second missile defense radar in Japan.
 
U.S. Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel outlined the purpose of the early warning system.  “This additional radar will bolster our ability to defend the U.S. homeland and Japan against North Korean ballistic missiles. And, it enhances an important 21st century alliance capability,” Hagel explained.
 
Although the missile radar is aimed at North Korea, the advanced surveillance equipment is likely geared towards China.
 
Japan Coast Guard vessel PS206 Houou sails in front of Uotsuri island, one of the disputed islands, called Senkaku in Japan and Diaoyu in China, in the East China Sea, Aug. 18, 2013. (File photo)Japan Coast Guard vessel PS206 Houou sails in front of Uotsuri island, one of the disputed islands, called Senkaku in Japan and Diaoyu in China, in the East China Sea, Aug. 18, 2013. (File photo)
x
Japan Coast Guard vessel PS206 Houou sails in front of Uotsuri island, one of the disputed islands, called Senkaku in Japan and Diaoyu in China, in the East China Sea, Aug. 18, 2013. (File photo)
Japan Coast Guard vessel PS206 Houou sails in front of Uotsuri island, one of the disputed islands, called Senkaku in Japan and Diaoyu in China, in the East China Sea, Aug. 18, 2013. (File photo)
Beijing sends frequent patrols near the Japan-administered Senkaku islands that China also claims and calls the Diaoyu.
 
A joint statement issued by the U.S. and Japan Security Consultative Committee urges China to adhere to international norms.
 
Hagel reaffirmed the Senkakus fall under U.S. treaty obligations to Japan. 

“We strongly oppose any unilateral coercive action that seeks to undermine Japan's administrative control,” he stated.
 
The joint statement also outlined U.S. and Japan joint projects for defense against cyberattacks, intelligence sharing, and cooperation in space.
 
The two sides also agreed to revise the U.S.-Japan defense alliance to give Tokyo a greater role in protecting its own sovereignty.
 
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has been seeking to revise parts of Japan's pacifist constitution, raising concerns from its neighbors.
 
But, the United States welcomed Tokyo's greater defense role, saying the goal was a more balanced and effective alliance with the two militaries as full partners.
 
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said their discussions would modernize both military and diplomatic cooperation. 

“Today we agreed to review our bilateral defense guidelines, and in the months ahead we will work together in order to shape the framework that will guide our alliance for the years to come,” he said.
 
They agreed a committee would submit recommended changes to the 1997 Guidelines for U.S.-Japan Defense Cooperation by the end of 2014.
 
The United States and Japan also reaffirmed a plan to move 9,000 U.S. troops out of military bases in Okinawa.
 
More than half of the soldiers would go to the U.S. Pacific island territory of Guam in the next decade with Japan agreeing to pay up to $3 billion of the cost.

You May Like

Multimedia US Defense Secretary: Iraqi Forces Lack 'Will to Fight'

Ash Carter criticizes Iraq's reaction to Islamic State; National Security Advisor Susan Rice echoed Carter's concerns in an interview on CBS More

Boko Haram Surrounds Havens With Land Mines

Chad and Cameroon say huge numbers of land mines planted by Boko Haram fighters along Cameroon's border with Nigeria are a danger to people, livestock and soldiers More

Women Peace Activists Cross Korean DMZ

Governments of Koreas give international delegation of women peace activists permission to pass through heavily fortified border, but some critics say symbolic crossing only benefits Pyongyang More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthroughi
X
May 22, 2015 10:23 AM
Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthrough

Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Europe Follows US Lead in Tackling ‘Conflict Minerals’

Metals mined from conflict zones in places like the Democratic Republic of Congo are often sold by warlords to buy weapons. This week European lawmakers voted to force manufacturers to prove that their supply chains are not inadvertently fueling conflicts and human rights abuses. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Class Tackles Questions of Race, Discrimination

Unrest in some U.S. cities is more than just a trending news item at Ladue Middle School in St. Louis, Missouri. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, it’s a focus of a multicultural studies class engaging students in wide-ranging discussions about racial tensions and police aggression.
Video

Video Mind-Controlled Prosthetics Are Getting Closer

Scientists and engineers are making substantial advances towards the ultimate goal in prosthetics – creation of limbs that can be controlled by the wearer’s mind. Thanks to sophisticated sensors capable of picking up the brain’s signals, an amputee in Iceland is literally bringing us one step closer to that goal. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Afghan Economy Sinks As Foreign Troops Depart

As international troops prepare to leave Afghanistan, and many foreign aid groups follow, Afghans are grappling with how the exodus will affect the country's fragile economy. Ayesha Tanzeem reports from the Afghan capital, Kabul.
Video

Video Poverty, Ignorance Force Underage Girls Into Marriage

The recent marriage of a 17-year old Chechen girl to a local police chief who was 30 years older and already had a wife caused an outcry in Russia and beyond. The bride was reportedly forced to marry and her parents were intimidated into giving their consent. The union spotlighted yet again the plight of many underage girls in developing countries. Zlatica Hoke reports poverty, ignorance and fear are behind the practice, especially in Asia and Africa.
Video

Video South Korea Marks Gwangju Uprising Anniversary

South Korea this week marked the 35th anniversary of a protest that turned deadly. The Gwangju Uprising is credited with starting the country’s democratic revolution after it was violently quelled by South Korea’s former military rulers. But as Jason Strother reports, some observers worry that democracy has recently been eroded.
Video

Video California’s Water System Not Created To Handle Current Drought

The drought in California is moving into its fourth year. While the state's governor is mandating a reduction in urban water use, most of the water used in California is for agriculture. But both city dwellers and farmers are feeling the impact of the drought. Some experts say the state’s water system was not created to handle long periods of drought. Elizabeth Lee reports from Ventura County, an agricultural region just northwest of Los Angeles.
Video

Video How to Clone a Mammoth: The Science of De-Extinction

An international team of scientists has sequenced the complete genome of the woolly mammoth. Led by the Swedish Museum of Natural History in Stockholm, the work opens the door to recreate the huge herbivore, which last roamed the Earth 4,000 years ago. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble considers the science of de-extinction and its place on the planet
Video

Video Blind Boy Defines His Life with Music

Cole Moran was born blind. He also has cognitive delays and other birth defects. He has to learn everything by ear. Nevertheless, the 12-year-old has had an insatiable love for music since he was born. VOA’s June Soh introduces us to the young phenomenal harmonica player.

VOA Blogs