Joint Statement
U.S.-Japan Security Consultative Committee
Completion of the Review of the Guidelines
for U.S.-Japan Defense Cooperation
New York, New York

September 23, 1997

The U.S.-Japan alliance is indispensable for ensuring the security of Japan and continues to play a key role in maintaining peace and stability in the Asia-Pacific region. It also facilitates the positive engagement of the United States in the region. The alliance reflects such common values as respect for freedom, democracy, and human rights, and serves as a political basis for wide-ranging bilateral cooperation, including efforts to build a more stable international security environment. The success of such efforts benefits all in the region.

The "Guidelines for U.S.-Japan Defense Cooperation" (the Guidelines), approved by the 17th Security Consultative Committee (SCC) on November 27, 1978, resulted from studies and consultations on a comprehensive framework for cooperation in the area of defense. Significant achievements for closer defense cooperation under the Guidelines have increased the credibility of bilateral security arrangements.

Although the Cold War has ended, the potential for instability and uncertainty persists in the Asia-Pacific region. Accordingly, the maintenance of people and stability in this region has assumed greater importance for the security of Japan.

The "U.S.-Japan Joint Declaration on Security" issued by President Clinton and Prime Minister Hashimoto in April 1996, reconfirmed that the U.S.-Japan security relationship remains the cornerstone for achieving common security objectives, and for maintaining a stable and prosperous environment in the Asia-Pacific region as we enter the twenty-first century. The President and the Prime Minister agreed to initiate a review of the 1978 Guidelines to build upon the close working relationship already established between the United States and Japan.

In June 1996, the two Governments reconstituted the Subcommittee for Defense Cooperation (SDC) under the auspices of the SCC, to conduct the review of the Guidelines (the Review) on the basis of Japan's "National Defense Program Outline" of November 1995, and the "U.S.-Japan Joint Declaration on Security." In view of the changes in the post-Cold War environment, and based on the achievements made under the Guidelines, the SDC has considered:

-cooperation under normal circumstances;
-actions in response to an armed attack against Japan; and
-cooperation in situations in areas surrounding Japan that will have an important influence on Japan's peace and security (situations in areas surrounding Japan).

These considerations aimed at providing a general framework and policy direction for the roles and missions of the two countries and ways of cooperation and coordination, both under normal circumstances and during contingencies. The Review did not address situations in specific areas.

The SDC has conducted the Review with the objective of identifying ideas and specific items that would contribute to more effective bilateral cooperation with the intention to complete the Review by autumn of 1997, as instructed by the SCC in September 1996. The discussions at the SDC in the course of the Review are summarized in the "Progress Report on the Guidelines Review for U.S.-Japan Defense Cooperation" of September 1996, and in the "Interim Report on the Review of the Guidelines for U.S.-Japan Defense Cooperation" of June 1997.

The SDC prepared and submitted to the SCC new "Guidelines for U.S.-Japan Defense Cooperation." The SCC approved and issued the following Guidelines, which supersede the 1978 Guidelines.

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