« 日露首脳会談 領土交渉に「魔法の杖」はない | トップページ | 高速道路の改修 「造る」から「守る」への転換を »

2013年5月 4日 (土)

日米防衛相会談 安保協力を着実に強化したい

The Yomiuri Shimbun May 2, 2013
Japan-U.S. security cooperation must be steadily strengthened
日米防衛相会談 安保協力を着実に強化したい(5月1日付・読売社説)

To respond to China's rapid military buildup and risky threatening behavior as well as North Korea's military provocations, it is vital to strengthen the Japan-U.S. security alliance and enhance its deterrent capability.

Defense Minister Itsunori

Onodera held talks with U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel in Washington on Monday. After the meeting, Hagel said the defense chiefs had confirmed that the Senkaku Islands fall under the Japan-U.S. Security Treaty. He also said the United States "opposes any unilateral or coercive action" that aims to change the status quo.

Hagel also revealed that U.S. Army Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, conveyed a similar message to Beijing when he visited China last week, a warning intended to keep China in check.

Hagel's remarks came after U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry expressed a similar view during his visit to Japan in April. It is significant that Hagel, who commands the U.S. military, and other top U.S. leaders are united in their firm stance against China's provocations.

Intrusions by Chinese government ships into Japanese territorial waters near the Senkaku Islands have been handled by the Japan Coast Guard. On this matter, the Self-Defense Forces do not act on the front lines. However, protecting Japanese land and waters will require the SDF to work closely with the U.S. military even in peacetime.

N. Korea 'most obvious threat'

Hagel called North Korea's provocative behavior "the most obvious threat" to stability in Asia, while Onodera said, "I have not received any information that would allow" Japan to lower its alert level with regard to North Korea for the time being.

Pyongyang has been putting off a plan to fire a ballistic missile, but Japan must not relax its monitoring of that country. We urge the government to steadily implement plans agreed by Tokyo and Washington, such as the additional deployment of the U.S. military's early warning radar to Kyotango, Kyoto Prefecture.

As a joint working group on defense intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance has been set up, both countries will need to work out specifics for dynamic and practical defense cooperation, such as joint operation of Global Hawk unmanned surveillance aircraft.

During their talks, Onodera and Hagel confirmed 12 more of the U.S. military's new MV-22 Osprey transport aircraft will be deployed to Futenma Air Station in Okinawa Prefecture this summer. This will raise the number of Ospreys at the Futenma base to 24.

Compared with the CH-46 transport helicopters previously stationed at Futenma, the Osprey offers significantly better performance in terms of speed, cargo and combat radius, raising the U.S. military's deterrent ability. We welcome the fact that the Osprey will reinforce the defense of the Senkaku Islands.

The deployment of the first Osprey squadron to Japan last autumn was met with protests due to misunderstanding over its safety. The government should provide local governments concerned with accurate information and make further efforts to dispel misapprehension about the tilt-rotor aircraft.

Future of security cooperation

The Japanese and U.S. defense chiefs also agreed on a range of other issues, such as reviewing the guidelines for the Japan-U.S. defense cooperation, speeding up work to relocate the Futenma base to the Henoko district in Nago, Okinawa Prefecture, and making progress on transferring some U.S. marines in the prefecture to Guam.

These matters are crucial to deepening trust between Japan and the United States and beefing up the bilateral alliance. In reviewing the defense cooperation guidelines, both countries should look ahead and prepare for what Northeast Asia will be like 10 years or 20 years from now, as well as consider the future of Japan-U.S. security cooperation. Expanding the roles of the SDF also will be essential.

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, May 1, 2013)
(2013年5月1日01時44分  読売新聞)


« 日露首脳会談 領土交渉に「魔法の杖」はない | トップページ | 高速道路の改修 「造る」から「守る」への転換を »





« 日露首脳会談 領土交渉に「魔法の杖」はない | トップページ | 高速道路の改修 「造る」から「守る」への転換を »