See More on Facebook

Diplomacy, Politics

Abe, new U.S. defense secretary stand united on North Korea

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe met with U.

Written by

Updated: August 8, 2019

S. Defense Secretary Mark Esper in Tokyo on Wednesday.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and U.S. Defense Secretary Mark Esper agreed to work closely to deal with issues related to North Korea and China during their first meeting on Wednesday.

North Korea has launched a series of short-range ballistic missiles, while China has continued its unilateral maritime expansion. Abe and Esper exchanged views on the challenges presented by the two countries during the meeting at the Prime Minister’s Office.

Esper said North Korea remained a great concern. The Pentagon chief noted that the United States aims to realize the complete denuclearization of North Korea and expressed U.S. support for resolving the issue of North Korea’s abduction of Japanese nationals.

Esper criticized China for continuing to destabilize the Indo-Pacific region, saying its military activity and calculated strategy of predatory economics violates the international rules-based order that Japan and the United States are trying to uphold. He also called the Japan-U.S. alliance “ironclad.”

Abe said: “The Japan-U.S. bond has never been stronger. We want to further strengthen our alliance and reinforce our deterrence and response capabilities,” adding that Japan will cooperate with the United States to realize a “free and open Indo-Pacific.”

After meeting with Abe, Esper met Japan’s Defense Minister Takeshi Iwaya and exchanged views on a U.S.-led maritime security initiative aimed at ensuring security in the Strait of Hormuz.

Esper, who is visiting Japan for the first time since taking office in July, told reporters on Tuesday, “I think any and every country that has an interest in freedom of navigation and freedom of commerce, needs to be involved in this monitoring of the Strait, the Gulf … I think it’s something that the Japanese should strongly consider.”

After meeting with Esper, Iwaya told reporters, “We told [the United States] that we will make a decision [on whether to participate] in a comprehensive manner within the government as a whole, based on a stable crude oil supply, the Japan-U.S. alliance and Japan’s friendly relationship with Iran.”

Esper and Iwaya also discussed Japan-South Korea relations and affirmed the importance of the Japan-South Korea General Security of Military Information Agreement (GSOMIA), which Seoul has hinted at scrapping. Esper has said he intends to urge South Korea to maintain GSOMIA when he visits the country.

Iwaya and Esper also discussed ways to reinforce cooperation between Self-Defense Forces and the U.S. military based on Japan’s National Defense Program Guidelines approved last December and the U.S. National Defense Strategy announced in January last year.

Enjoyed this story? Share it.

The Japan News
About the Author: The Japan News is published by The Yomiuri Shimbun, which boasts the largest circulation in the world.

Eastern Briefings

All you need to know about Asia

Our Eastern Briefings Newsletter presents curated stories from 22 Asian newspapers from South, Southeast and Northeast Asia.

Sign up and stay updated with the latest news.

By providing us with your email address, you agree to our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.

View Today's Newsletter Here

Diplomacy, Politics

North Korea beefs up self-defense capabilities in military reorganization

The North have been making many changes ahead of talks. North Korean leader Kim Jong-un presided over a meeting of the top military decision-making body to accelerate the development of self-defense capabilities ahead of key events that will decide its national strategy, its state media reported Sunday. Discussions on ways to bolster its military capabilities through organizational restructuring and personnel reshuffle were highlighted during the third expanded meeting of the seventh central military commission of the ruling Workers’ Party. Details on what measures were discussed were not disclosed. “At the meeting, Supreme Leader Kim Jong-un

By Zaffar Abbas
December 23, 2019

Diplomacy, Politics

Modi defends citizenship decision

PM Modi says it has nothing to do with Indian Muslims. Prime Minister Narendra Modi said, that unity in diversity is integral to India while addressing ‘Aabhar Rally’ at Delhi’s Ramlila Maidan today to kick start Bharatiya Janata Party’s Delhi Assembly Elections campaign slated for early next year, amid protests in Delhi and all over the country against the contentious Citizenship Act and the National Register of Citizenship(NRC). Modi raised slogan of ‘vividhta me ekta, Bharat ki visheshta’ (Unity in diversity is India’s speciality). PM Modi while giving his party and government’s view on CAA and NRC said, “Muslims being misled, I have always ensured that documents will never come in way of development schemes and their beneficiaries.” Citizenship law and NRC have nothing to do with Indian Muslims or with Indian citizens, he clarified. “We have never asked

By The Statesman
December 23, 2019

Diplomacy, Politics

Rallies rage on in India over citizenship law

Thousands of students flood streets of Delhi; Assam state sees five protesters shot dead. Thousands of university students flooded the streets of India’s capital yesterday, while a southern state government led a march and demonstrators held a silent protest in the north-east, to protest against a new law giving citizenship to non-Muslims who entered India illegally to flee religious persecution in several neighbouring countries. The protests in New Delhi followed a night of violent clashes between the police and demonstrators at Jamia Millia Islamia University. People who student organisers said were not students set three buses on fire and the police stormed the university library, firing tear gas at students crouched under desks. Members of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ruling Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party said opposition parties were using th

By The Straits Times
December 17, 2019

Diplomacy, Politics

China-US trade deal bullish news for both countries, rest of world

From Chinese state media. State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi said Saturday that the China-US deal on the text of a phase-one economic and trade agreement serves as bullish news for both countries and the rest of the world. Speaking at a joint press conference with Slovenian Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Miro Cerar, Wang said China has, as always, been opposed to settling economic and trade disputes by imposing tariffs as there is no winner in a trade war. China has also rejected the use of unilateral pressure as it violates the rules of the World Trade Organization (WTO), said Wang. He pointed out that following rounds of back-and-forth negotiations, China and the United States have agreed on the wording of a phase-one economic and trade agreement, and the US side has promised to phase out additional tariffs on Chinese products. The agreement demonstrates the spirit

By Esther Ng
December 16, 2019

Diplomacy, Politics

Biegun arrives in Seoul amid deadlock in NK-US nuclear talks

Pyongyang says it conducted “another crucial test” at Sohae site. US Special Representative for North Korea Stephen Biegun arrived in Seoul on Sunday for a “close coordination” with allies amid the deadlock in the denuclearization talks with Pyongyang just weeks before the communist regime’s year-end deadline. A day before, North Korea issued statements to announce that it had carried out “another crucial test” at a satellite launching site, warning the United States to “hold off” any action to “rattle” the regime. During his three-day trip here, the US special envoy is expected to meet with officials here to discuss on the

By Zaffar Abbas
December 16, 2019

Diplomacy, Politics

Myanmar to be sincere in implementing Rohingya repatriation deal

This according to the Bangladeshi Foreign Minister. Bangladesh expects that Myanmar would be more tolerant towards Rohingyas after facing trial at the International Court of Justice, Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen said today. “My expectation is that Myanmar would be sincere in implementing the bilateral deal that signed with Bangladesh on repatriating Rohingyas from Bangladesh,” he told journalists at his ministry office in Dhaka. “Myanmar has invited me before a case lodged with the International Court of Justice. In response, I told that I would go there when the Rohingyas will go back to Myanmar,” the foreign minister said. “I also invited Myanmar to visit Bangladesh to talk to their Rohingya people and to understand their expectations,” Momen said. Globally it has been established that there was a massive crime committed against the Rohingyas, that was des

By Daily Star
December 16, 2019