Joint Statement of the U.S.-Japan Security Consultative Committee

U.S. Department of State
Office of the Spokesman

May 1, 2007

Following is the joint statement issued at the conclusion of the May 1, 2007 U.S.-Japan Security Consultative Committee meeting, attended by Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, Secretary of Defense Robert M. Gates, Minister for Foreign Affairs Taro Aso, and Minister of Defense Fumio Kyuma.

Alliance Transformation: Advancing United States-Japan Security and Defense Cooperation

I. Overview

The U.S.-Japan security relationship is the bedrock of Japan's defense and the keystone of peace and security in the Asia-Pacific region. The members of the Security Consultative Committee (SCC) welcomed recent advances in bilateral security and defense cooperation, consistent with the vision laid out in SCC meetings and statements over the past two years. The North Korean provocations, including missile launches in July and a nuclear test in October 2006, serve as stark reminders of the importance of transforming the U.S.-Japan Alliance to ensure its continued effectiveness in an ever-changing security environment.

The SCC members recognized that, just as today's expanding U.S.-Japan cooperation was enabled by previous efforts to update and consolidate the alliance that began years ago, so too will investments that the two countries make in the alliance today enable and ensure effective alliance responses to future challenges to peace and security.

Additionally, the SCC members stressed the importance of the traditional role of the Treaty of Mutual Cooperation and Security, which has enabled a life-of-the-alliance presence for U.S. forces in Japan while providing U.S. security assurances to the Government of Japan. U.S. extended deterrence underpins the defense of Japan and regional security. The U.S. reaffirmed that the full range of U.S. military capabilities - both nuclear and non-nuclear strike forces and defensive capabilities - form the core of extended deterrence and support U.S. commitments to the defense of Japan.

In this context, the SCC members emphasized the need to expand and deepen bilateral intelligence cooperation and information sharing in order to respond more effectively to emerging security challenges. They also decided to strengthen mechanisms to protect classified materials.

President George W. Bush and Prime Minister Shinzo Abe met on November 18, 2006 and called for a review of U.S.-Japan bilateral security cooperation, especially in the area of ballistic missile defense (BMD), reiterating its importance during their April 27, 2007 summit meeting. The SCC members focused on this agenda today in the context of common strategic objectives and alliance transformation.

The SCC members also welcomed the elevation of Japan's defense organization from agency to ministry status and the redefinition of the Self-Defense Forces' (SDF) international peace cooperation activities as part of their primary missions.

II. Common Strategic Objectives

The U.S. and Japan are committed to promoting fundamental values such as basic human rights, democracy, and the rule of law in the international community. On February 19, 2005, the SCC members identified common strategic objectives that provide a broad basis for advancing bilateral cooperation.

At today's meeting, the SCC members reconfirmed their commitment to these common strategic objectives, taking the current international security environment into account. In this context, they welcomed the "Initial Actions for the Implementation of the Joint Statement" adopted at the fifth round of the Six-Party Talks on February 13, 2007, and urged North Korea to expeditiously meet its commitments described in the statement.

During their discussions, the SCC members highlighted the following strategic objectives that advance the interests of both countries:

  • Achieving denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula through the Six-Party Talks and fully implementing the Joint Statement of September 19, 2005, which envisions progress in other areas, including: the normalization of relations between North Korea and the United States and Japan, respectively; resolution of humanitarian issues, such as the matter of abductions; and commitment by all Six Parties to join efforts for lasting peace and stability in Northeast Asia.

  • Achieving swift and full implementation of United Nations Security Council Resolution (UNSCR) 1718, noting that all United Nations Member States remain obligated to comply with the provisions of that Chapter VII resolution.

  • Recognizing the importance of China's contributions to regional and global security, further encouraging China to conduct itself as a responsible international stakeholder, improve transparency in its military affairs, and maintain consistency between its stated policies and actions.

  • Increasing cooperation to strengthen the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum as the pre-eminent regional economic forum, recognizing its crucial role in promoting stability, security, and prosperity in the region.

  • Supporting efforts made by the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) to promote democratic values, good governance, the rule of law, human rights, fundamental freedoms, and a unified market economy in Southeast Asia, and building regional capacity and cooperation on critical non-traditional and transnational security issues bilaterally and through the ASEAN Regional Forum.

  • Further strengthening trilateral cooperation among the United States, Japan, and Australia in the region and around the world, including in the areas of security and defense, based on shared democratic values and interests.

  • Continuing to build upon partnerships with India to advance areas of common interests and increase cooperation, recognizing that India's continued growth is inextricably tied to the prosperity, freedom, and security of the region.

  • Ensuring Afghanistan's successful economic reconstruction and political stabilization, which is essential to securing broader regional security and to defeating terrorism. To that end, the United States and Japan are both committed to supporting Afghanistan's transition, which requires reconstruction, development, and security.

  • Contributing to building a united, democratic Iraq capable of governing, defending, and sustaining itself, while remaining an ally in the War on Terror.

  • Achieving swift, full implementation of UNSCR 1737 and 1747, aimed at bringing Iran into full compliance with its International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) requirements. Noting the international community's continuing concerns regarding Iran's activities in the Middle East, both countries share the view that Iran must play a more positive role in the international community by demonstrating responsible behavior on the issue of terrorism.

  • Achieving broader Japan-North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) cooperation, recognizing that NATO's global contributions to peace and security and the common strategic objectives of the U.S.-Japan Alliance are consistent and complementary.

III. Roles, Missions, and Capabilities

On October 29, 2005, the SCC approved the document, "U.S.-Japan Alliance: Transformation and Realignment for the Future," which outlined initiatives on roles, missions, and capabilities of U.S. and Japanese forces. Following through on the security agenda laid out in that SCC document is imperative to the alliance's ability to respond to diverse challenges in the contemporary security environment.

The SCC members reviewed progress in updating roles, missions, and capabilities in line with this alliance transformation vision and highlighted:

  • The redefinition of the SDF's primary mission to include international peace keeping operations, international disaster relief operations, and responses to situations in areas surrounding Japan, which reflects growing attention to the importance of Japan's contributions to improving the international security environment. In this context, the SCC members discussed SDF's assistance for Iraq's reconstruction efforts as well as its support to coalition forces operating in the Indian Ocean.

  • Sustained progress in developing more specific planning to reflect the evolving security environment and to better posture our two forces to operate together in a regional crisis. Because such planning requires further coordination in a wide range of functions and fields, active participation of relevant ministries and agencies in the bilateral planning process will remain vital.

  • Substantive agreement between the two governments concerning security measures for the protection of classified military information, also known as a General Security of Military Information Agreement (GSOMIA). The GSOMIA will facilitate information exchange and establish a common basis of information security contributing to sharing of intelligence and defense program and operational information.

  • Establishment of a bilateral Chemical, Biological, Radiological, and Nuclear (CBRN) Defense Working Group to make steady progress in improving readiness and interoperability of U.S. and Japanese forces against CBRN weapons, ensuring sustained operational capability in the event of an attack by weapons of mass destruction.

  • Establishment of a flexible, bilateral interagency coordination mechanism to coordinate policy, operational, intelligence, and public affairs positions before and during crisis situations.

  • Execution of joint, bilateral training exercises to strengthen interoperability and advance alliance roles, missions, and capabilities.

The SCC members, recognizing the growing importance of the U.S. force presence to Japanese and regional security, stressed the requirement for appropriate resources to ensure the success of the alliance transformation agenda. Both allies will also make best efforts to secure resources to improve alliance capabilities and to sustain the presence of U.S. forces in Japan.

IV. Implementation of the Realignment Roadmap

The SCC members reaffirmed their resolve to steadily implement the realignment initiatives described in the May 2006 SCC document, "United States-Japan Roadmap for Realignment Implementation." These initiatives, when implemented, will enhance U.S. and Japanese public support for the security alliance.

The SCC members reviewed and appreciated the progress made thus far with the initiatives described in the "Roadmap" including:

  • The creation of a bilateral coordination mechanism in June 2006 providing implementation oversight for the realignment initiatives;

  • Japanese Diet action on legislation and funding required to facilitate early implementation of realignment initiatives;

  • Elaboration of the engineering and technical design for the Futenma Replacement Facility and the initiation of surveys in the water areas offshore of Camp Schwab;

  • Significant cooperation toward relocation of the III Marine Expeditionary Force (MEF) personnel and their dependents from Okinawa to Guam by 2014, including:

    • The U.S. creation and funding of a Joint Guam Program Office to oversee planning and development of the facilities in Guam;
    • The launch of the U.S. environmental impact assessment process, including Notice of Intent to prepare an Environmental Impact Statement, for the relocation of U.S. Marine Corps forces from Okinawa to Guam; and
    • Submission of the above-mentioned legislation to the Japanese Diet authorizing the Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC) to take appropriate measures under the direction of the Japanese government to fulfill a portion of Japan's financial commitments related to the relocation of III MEF personnel and their dependents from Okinawa to Guam.

  • Commencement of the aircraft training relocation program in March 2007;

  • Implementation of flexible-use of Yokota airspace measures in September 2006, and agreement in October 2006 for return of portions of Yokota airspace to Japanese control by September 2008, and for collocation of SDF controllers at the Yokota Radar Approach Control (RAPCON). These measures will help facilitate the movement of civilian aircraft through Yokota airspace while satisfying military operational requirements; and

  • October 2006 launching of the Study Group on the specific conditions and modalities for possible civil-military dual-use of Yokota Air Base, as specified in the "Roadmap."

The SCC members reaffirmed that completion of the Futenma Replacement Facility, in accordance with the "Roadmap" by the target date of 2014, is the key to successful and timely implementation of the overall realignment plan for Okinawa, including the III MEF relocation to Guam and subsequent consolidation of remaining facilities and areas on Okinawa. The SCC members acknowledged the significant progress on a detailed consolidation plan and directed their staffs to continue close consultations toward its completion.

The SCC members also appreciated continued progress in implementation of commitments under the 1996 Special Action Committee on Okinawa (SACO) final report, including return of the Senaha Communications Facility in September 2006, and the Sobe Communications Facility and the Yomitan Auxiliary Airfield in December 2006, totaling more than 300 hectares/750 acres.

V. Strengthening BMD and Operational Cooperation

Alliance BMD capabilities, which contribute to the alliance's overall deterrence posture, are strengthened to the extent that U.S. and Japanese systems can operate together effectively. The SCC members confirmed that, as both countries develop and deploy capabilities, every effort must be made to ensure tactical, operational, and strategic coordination. In that light, the United States and Japan will take appropriate measures, in close coordination, in response to ballistic missile threats against alliance interests.

In this context, the SCC members highlighted the following areas of operational cooperation:

  • To strengthen operational cooperation, bilateral planning efforts must take into account missile defense capabilities, today and in the foreseeable future. To that end, the two sides' forces will clarify concepts, roles, and missions for each side in the conduct of missile defense and related operations in response to ballistic missile threats. At the same time, a policy-level forum will ensure that policy guidance for BMD operations is unambiguous and current.

  • On October 29, 2005, the SCC directed the creation of a bilateral joint operations coordination center (BJOCC). During the North Korean missile provocations of June-July 2006, the United States and Japan exchanged information in a timely manner, including through an interim coordination facility at Yokota Air Base with SDF liaisons. The success of this facility in ensuring that both sides had a common awareness of the evolving situation validated the importance of continuous enhancement of bilateral policy/operational coordination including through establishment of the BJOCC at Yokota Air Base.

  • Recognizing the importance of improving the situational awareness of U.S. forces and the SDF, the two sides are committed to the routine sharing of BMD and related operational information directly with each other on a real-time, continuous basis. The two sides will also develop a bilateral common operational picture (COP).

  • The two sides will establish a comprehensive information-sharing roadmap to identify broader operational information and data to be shared in support of alliance roles, missions, and capabilities.

VI. Enhancing BMD System Capabilities

The SCC members noted with satisfaction that past alliance decisions about missile defense, coupled with recent accelerated cooperation, have strengthened BMD capabilities in the region.

They highlighted key advances, including:

  • The operational deployment of a U.S. X-Band radar system to Air SDF Shariki Base, Japan, with associated U.S. delivery of radar data to Japanese forces.

  • The operational deployment of a U.S. PAC-3 battalion to Kadena Air Base, Japan.

  • The recent and continuing addition of Standard Missile (SM-3) defense capabilities to the forward-deployed naval forces of the U.S. Pacific Fleet.

  • Japan's decision to accelerate modification of its Aegis ships with SM-3 capabilities. Japan will complete modification of DDG Kongo by the end of 2007, and will expedite modification of DDGs Chokai, Myoko, and Kirishima.

  • Japan's decision to expedite the deployment of PAC-3, which resulted in deployment of the first PAC-3 fire unit in March 2007 and its goal to deploy 16 PAC-3 capable fire units by early 2010.

  • Priority focus on U.S.-Japan cooperative development of the next generation SM-3 interceptor. The basic agreement on a framework for technology transfer reached by the two sides will facilitate progress on this project as well as in future U.S.-Japan technology cooperation projects.

The SCC members confirmed that advancing the alliance transformation agenda for security and defense cooperation will contribute to regional and global peace and security.