Tokyo, 28 September 2023(TDI): In a significant diplomatic meeting, Kamikawa Yoko, Japan’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, engaged in a constructive 30-minute courtesy call with Admiral John C. Aquilino, Commander of the U.S. Indo-Pacific Command.

The meeting, which commenced on September 27, marks a crucial step in reaffirming the strong alliance between Japan and the United States, underlining their collective commitment to regional peace and stability.

Foreign Minister Kamikawa warmly welcomed Admiral Aquilino to Japan, expressing gratitude for the vital role played by the U.S. Indo-Pacific Command and U.S. forces stationed in Japan.

Minister Kamikawa emphasized that the Japan-U.S. Alliance stands as the linchpin for peace, security, and prosperity in the Indo-Pacific.

Underlining the pivotal nature of this alliance, she stressed the need to further bolster the deterrence and response capabilities it offers.

Admiral Aquilino echoed these sentiments, emphasizing the unprecedented importance of the Japan-U.S. Alliance in the face of growing regional security challenges.

Both parties shared a common goal: to advance a “Free and Open Indo-Pacific,” reaffirming the unwavering commitment of the United States to the region.

Read more: Japan-U.S. Foreign Ministers’ telephone conversation

During their discussions, the Foreign Minister and Admiral Aquilino addressed various aspects of Japan-U.S. security cooperation and the regional security landscape.

This included a comprehensive review of the evolving situation surrounding North Korea, encompassing recent developments such as the Russia-North Korea Summit.

Both parties expressed deep concerns about the escalating nuclear and missile activities of North Korea and underscored their commitment to close cooperation between Japan and the U.S., as well as with the Republic of Korea, in addressing North Korean issues.

The discussions highlighted the shared commitment of Japan and the United States to uphold peace, security, and the rule of law in the Indo-Pacific region.

In line with their dedication to strengthening the alliance, both sides reiterated their commitment to the steady implementation of the realignment of U.S. forces in Japan.

This realignment includes the relocation of the Marine Corps Air Station (MCAS) Futenma to Henoko, Okinawa.

Foreign Minister Kamikawa acknowledged the importance of garnering local residents’ understanding and support for the presence of U.S. forces in Japan.

She emphasized the need for close cooperation in addressing incidents and accidents, as well as ensuring the safe operation of U.S. forces, with due consideration to local communities.