Revised Strategic Guidelines Key to Stability
Revised Strategic Guidelines
Key to Stability, Japan’s Defense Minister Says
By Jim Garamone, DoD News, Defense Media
Washington D.C. — (DoD
News) — April 27, 2015 — The Japanese welcome the American rebalance to the
Pacific, and Japan Self-Defense Force personnel look forward to working even
more closely with U.S. personnel as a result of changes to the U.S.-Japan
strategic guidelines, Japanese Defense Minister Gen Nakatani said in an
exclusive interview yesterday.
The defense guidelines provide a foundation for U.S.-Japan cooperation. The
new changes will now allow Japanese Self-Defense Forces to coordinate with
American forces worldwide, and they’ll also allow the two countries to cooperate
in two new domains -- space and cyber. The guidelines also call for an alliance
coordination mechanism that will improve planning and coordination between U.S.
and Japanese forces.
Nakatani, speaking through an interpreter, said the guidelines “will serve to
strengthen the deterrence capability in this region and I think this will
contribute to the stability of this region as well.”
Guidelines Reflect Changing World
Nakatani said an important part of the revisions is expanding the range of
cooperation between U.S. armed forces and the Japan Self-Defense Forces from a
regional to a global basis. “We will cooperate in the Asia-Pacific region and
the region beyond that,” he said. “The scope of our cooperation will also
include new strategic areas such as space and cyberspace.”
The minister said the guidelines call on U.S. and Japanese officials to work
closer together in peace and in emergency situations. “We will establish the
coordination mechanism that will serve to better our forces coordination, and we
will develop bilateral planning so we can cooperate and prepare from peacetime,”
In the air, Nakatani sees more exercises between the Air Self-Defense Force,
the U.S. Air Force and the Australian Air Force. He said there are already
exercises in Guam and in Australia.
“Once we have enactment of new legislation in Japan, that will allow us to
conduct logistics for your support to coalition members,” he said. “That will
allow self-defense forces to contribute even more to peace and security of the
Coordination at All Levels
For Japan to contribute and cooperate globally with U.S. forces, two things
must be in place, the defense minister said. The first condition is legitimacy
-- a United Nations resolution in support of international operations would be
an example. “And the second is we need approval from the Japanese Diet,” he said.
The new guidelines call for an alliance coordination mechanism. Nakatani sees
this happening at all levels, from cabinet to command levels. He said he expects
that U.S. and Japanese officials, including himself and Defense Secretary Ash
Carter, will consult regularly on planning and emergency situations.
The security environment around Japan is complicated, and both countries need
to cope with new types of threats in new domains, the defense minister said. “I
am strongly convinced the new guidelines will enhance deterrent and response
capabilities of our forces, and I look forward to greater cooperation with U.S.
forces around the world,” he said.
(Follow Jim Garamone on Twitter: @GaramoneDoDNews)