☷Secretary of Defense Lloyd J Austin III Remarks Welcoming Japanese Defense Minister Nobuo Kishi to the Pentagon
U.S. Department of Defense ( By Press Release office)
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SECRETARY OF DEFENSE LLOYD J . AUSTIN III: Well , Minister Kishi , it ' s an honor to welcome you to the Pentagon on your first trip to Washington as Defense Minister . And it ' s especially good to see you in person and to get to return the warm hospitality that you showed me in Tokyo . We are here because the U . S . - Japan alliance remains the cornerstone of peace and prosperity in the Indo - Pacific . Our two countries are bound by deep friendship and trust , as well as by common interests and shared values . We ' re meeting at a crucial moment for those shared values and interests . Russia ' s baseless and reckless invasion of Ukraine is an affront to the rules - based international order and it poses a challenge to free people everywhere . Minister Kishi , I want to commend Japan for its leadership in the global response to this crisis and I want to personally thank you for joining the first meeting of the Ukraine Security Consultative Group last week . Your presence underscored Japan ' s commitment to helping the Ukrainian people defend their sovereignty , now and over the long haul . Now , Russia ' s aggression has implications far beyond Europe because it underscores a challenge to the rules - based order that we ' ve all worked so hard to build and defend . In the Indo - Pacific , our two countries have worked together for decades to sustain a free and open order that allows prosperity and security for all . But China ' s recent behavior poses a profound challenge to common norms , values and institutions that underpin that order . So today , in the face of this challenge , we ' re going to discuss ways to work towards an Indo - Pacific that ' s even more open and free , including our joint efforts to upgrade the U . S . - Japan alliance . And so let me reaffirm our unwavering commitment to the defense of Japan and to include our extended deterrence commitments , using our full range of conventional and nuclear capabilities . Our conversations today will help us align our defense strategies and optimize our force posture and evolve our respective roles , missions and capabilities . We ' ll also discuss ways to further deepen our cooperation with other like - minded partners , including the Quad , Australia , and South Korea . And Mr . Minister , I ' m enormously proud of how far our partnership has come and I ' m deeply optimistic about where we ' ll go together in the days ahead . And I want to thank you again for visiting the Pentagon and I look forward to a great discussion this morning . JAPANESE DEFENSE MINISTER NOBUO KISHI ( THROUGH TRANSLATOR ) : Secretary Austin , I thank you most sincerely for your hospitality to accept my visit to the Pentagon today . In just four months since the 2+2 in January this year , the world has drastically changed , as demonstrated by Russia ' s aggression against Ukraine and North Korea ' s ICBM - class missile launch , among other things . North Korea has just launched another missile only yesterday and such action is absolutely unacceptable and North Korea has become graver and a more imminent threat . Russia ' s aggression against Ukraine , in particular , is a serious challenge to the international order , in which Russia , one of the permanent members of the U . N . Security Council , invaded another sovereign state , Ukraine . Such unilateral change to the status quo by force is a concern in the Indo - Pacific region as well . We can no longer separate the security of the Indo - Pacific from that of Europe , and I am determined to enhance Japan ' s commitment to the security of Europe from such a point of view . And so what the current situation teaches us is that the deterrence is the most important to prevent contingencies from happening . Mr . Secretary , especially I ' d like to work together with you to ensure that the U . S . extended deterrence , including nuclear deterrence , remains critical and resolute . Given the current security situation we face , we have no time to lose in fundamentally reinforcing Japan ' s defense capabilities and strengthening the alliance capabilities to deter and respond . Secretary Austin , I wish to promptly materialize various agenda items under our leadership . Thank you . SEC . AUSTIN: Thank you , Minister Kishi . Thanks , everybody .
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