Japan-United States of America Relations
U.S.-Japan Joint Vision Statement
April 28, 2015
Today the United States and Japan honor a partnership that for seven decades has made enduring contributions to global peace, security, and prosperity. In this year which marks 70 years since the end of World War II, the relationship between our two countries stands as a model of the power of reconciliation: former adversaries who have become steadfast allies and who work together to advance common interests and universal values in Asia and globally. Together we have helped to build a strong rules-based international order, based on a commitment to rules, norms and institutions that are the foundation of global affairs and our way of life.
This transformation into a robust alliance and global partnership was not inevitable. Generations of people from all walks of life built the relationship between our countries over time, working in the belief that the experiences of the past should inform but not constrain the possibilities for the future. This endeavor has brought the United States and Japan to where we stand today: two of the world’s leading economies, advancing regional prosperity through a mutually beneficial economic partnership, anchored by an unshakeable Alliance that is the cornerstone of peace and security in the Asia-Pacific region and a platform for global cooperation. The journey our two countries have traveled demonstrates that reconciliation is possible when all sides are devoted to achieving it.
Over the past 70 years, the U.S.-Japan relationship has successfully grown and adapted to challenges and significant changes in the international system. Together we helped to win the Cold War and manage its aftermath; we have worked together to fight terrorism after the September 11, 2001 attacks; we cooperated to strengthen the international financial architecture following the global financial crisis; we responded to natural disasters such as the tragic Great East Japan Earthquake and tsunami of March 11, 2011; we have confronted North Korean nuclear and missile threats, as well as human rights abuses and abductions; we have worked together to address concerns about Iran’s nuclear program; and we have cooperated to address complex transnational challenges.
Today’s meeting between President Obama and Prime Minister Abe marks a historic step forward in transforming the U.S.-Japan partnership. Through the United States’ Asia-Pacific Rebalance strategy, and Japan’s policy of “Proactive Contribution to Peace” based on the principle of international cooperation, we are working closely together to ensure a peaceful and prosperous future for the region and the world. We recognize that the security and prosperity of our two countries in the 21st century is intertwined, inseparable, and not defined solely by national borders. Our current and future commitments to each other and to the international order reflect that reality.
The United States and Japan are committed to a transparent, rules-based, and progressive approach in pursuing the prosperity of the region. Our leadership in this area encompasses trade and investment through the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), development cooperation, and internet governance. The United States and Japan are leading efforts to set the rules for trade and investment, both in the dynamic and fast-growing Asia-Pacific region and around the world. As the two largest economies in TPP, we are working to finalize the most high-standard trade agreement ever negotiated. TPP will drive economic growth and prosperity in both countries and throughout the Asia-Pacific region by supporting more jobs, raising wages, and reinforcing our work together on a range of long term strategic objectives, including the promotion of regional peace and stability. We welcome the significant progress that has been made in the bilateral negotiations and reaffirm our commitment to work together to achieve a swift and successful conclusion to the broader agreement.
The new Guidelines for U.S-Japan Defense Cooperation will transform the Alliance, reinforce deterrence, and ensure that we can address security challenges, new and old, for the long term. The new Guidelines will update our respective roles and missions within the Alliance and enable Japan to expand its contributions to regional and global security. The new Guidelines will enable us to work more closely on issues including maritime security, and to partner with other countries that share our aspirations, in the region and beyond. As we strengthen an Alliance that has become global in reach, the United States stands resolute and unwavering in all of its commitments under the U.S.-Japan Security Treaty, based upon a stable, long-term U.S. military presence in Japan.
The United States and Japan are building a partnership that addresses global challenges. Our agenda is broad: we will work together to address climate change and environmental degradation, one of the greatest threats facing humanity; to further strengthen our economies and to promote strong, sustainable and balanced global growth; to deliver secure, affordable, sustainable and safe energy; to eradicate poverty and achieve sustainable development; to promote human security; to counter violent extremism; to strengthen the NPT regime to achieve the peace and security of a world without nuclear weapons; to promote global trade and investment; to combat epidemics and threats to global health; to advance scientific inquiry and promote resilience in space; to ensure the safe and stable use of cyber space based on the free flow of information and an open internet; to promote disaster risk reduction and relieve those afflicted by natural disasters and humanitarian emergencies; to advance human rights and universal freedoms; to promote girls education and empower women and girls around the world; and to strengthen U.N. peacekeeping. The United States looks forward to a reformed U.N. Security Council that includes Japan as a permanent member. Seventy years ago this partnership was unimaginable. Today it is a fitting reflection of our shared interests, capabilities and values.
As we work to expand our global cooperation, we will be guided by shared principles:
- Respect for sovereignty and territorial integrity;
- Commitment to the peaceful resolution of disputes without coercion;
- Support for democracy, human rights, and the rule of law;
- Expansion of economic prosperity, through open markets, free trade, transparent rules and regulations, and high labor and environmental standards;
- Promotion of globally recognized norms of behavior in shared domains, including the freedom of navigation and overflight, based upon international law;
- Advancement of strong regional and global institutions; and
- Support for trilateral and multilateral cooperation among like-minded partners.
Today the international order faces fresh challenges, ranging from violent extremism to cyber attacks. State actions that undermine respect for sovereignty and territorial integrity by attempting to unilaterally change the status quo by force or coercion pose challenges to the international order. Such threats put at risk much that we have built. We must and will adapt again, working in concert with other allies and partners. But we also have before us exciting opportunities to raise our collaboration to a new level, in areas like science and technology, energy, infrastructure, and arts and culture. The spirit of innovation and entrepreneurship in these and other areas, supported by public-private collaboration, will continue to be the driving force of economic growth and prosperity in our two countries. The benefits of our work in these diverse fields will be global in reach. As we move forward, we will actively promote people-to-people exchange as a key pillar of our relationship, especially among younger generations. We take up these challenges and opportunities, knowing that the strength and resilience of our 70-year partnership will ensure our success in the decades ahead.