Diplomatic Bluebook 2017

Chapter 3

Japan's Foreign Policy to Promote National and Worldwide Interests

2.Japan-U.S. Security Arrangements

(1) Overview of Japan-U.S. Security Relationship

Under the security environment surrounding Japan which is becoming increasingly severe, it is indispensable to strengthen the Japan-U.S. Security Arrangements and to enhance the deterrence of the Japan-U.S. Alliance not only for the peace and security of Japan but also for the peace and stability of the Asia-Pacific region. Based on the robust bilateral relationship confirmed through such meetings as the Japan-U.S. Summit Meeting in May 2016, Japan and the U.S. are further enhancing their deterrence and response capabilities under the New Guidelines and the Legislation for Peace and Security. Through such efforts, Japan and the U.S. have been expanding and strengthening cooperation in a wide range of areas, including ballistic missiles defense, cyberspace, outer space, and maritime security. Japan and the U.S. have been working closely on the realignment of U.S. Forces in Japan, including the relocation of Marine Corps Air Station (MCAS) Futenma and of approximately 9,000 U.S. Marine Corps in Okinawa to Guam and other locations in order to mitigate the impact on local communities, including Okinawa, while maintaining the deterrence of the U.S. Forces in Japan.

(2) Japan-U.S. Security and Defense Cooperation in Various Fields

A Efforts Under the Guidelines for Japan-U.S. Defense Cooperation (the “Guidelines”)

As the security environment surrounding Japan is becoming increasingly severe, the New Guidelines announced at the April 2015 meeting of the Japan-U.S. Security Consultative Committee (“2+2”), reviewed and updated the general framework and policy direction of the Japan-U.S. defense cooperation. Through the Alliance Coordination Mechanism (ACM) institutionalized under the New Guidelines, Japan and the U.S. have shared information closely, established a common understanding of the situation, and ensured effective coordination. Such efforts to enable “seamless” responses from peacetime to contingencies have contributed to further facilitating the Japan-U.S. security arrangements on various occasions, including the joint operations of the Japan Self-Defense Forces (JSDF) and the U.S. Forces in swift response to the Kumamoto Earthquake in April 2016. Interpersonal exchange between top-officials has been increasingly vigorous, with visits to Japan by U.S. Pacific Commander Admiral Harris in February and July, Chief of Staff of the U.S. Air Force, General Goldfein in November, and former Secretary of Defense, Secretary Carter, in December. The Japan-U.S. Extended Deterrence Dialogue was held in July and December, in which Japan and the U.S. had candid discussions about ways to secure the deterrence of the Japan-U.S. Alliance. Through these efforts, Japan will continue to promote security and defense cooperation with the U.S., further enhancing the deterrence and response capabilities of the Alliance.

B Japan-U.S. Acquisition and Cross-Servicing Agreement (Japan-U.S. ACSA)

In September, Japan and the U.S. signed the Japan-U.S. Acquisition and Cross-Servicing Agreement (ACSA), which sets out the framework for settlement procedures etc., for the reciprocal provision of supplies and services between the JSDF and the U.S. Forces. This agreement is formed as a replacement of the existing Japan-U.S. ACSA so that the supplies and services that are enabled to provide under the Legislation for Peace and Security are also implemented under the same framework as the existing one, including settlement procedures. This agreement facilitates the smooth and swift provision of supplies and services between the JSDF and the U.S. Forces, thereby promoting close cooperation between the two forces and active contributions to international peace and security.

C Ballistic Missile Defense (BMD)

Japan has been making steady efforts to develop and engage in the joint production of the BMD system while continuing cooperation with the U.S., including the steady implementation of joint development of the Standard Missile 3 (SM-3) Block IIA since 2006.

D Cyberspace

The two countries held the fourth Japan-U.S. Cyber Dialogue in July in the U.S. (Washington DC). Based on the necessity for intergovernmental efforts between Japan and the U.S., participants from both sides had a follow-up discussion on the outcome of the third dialogue held in July 2015. They also discussed a wide range of areas for Japan-U.S. cooperation in cyberspace, including awareness about the situations, protection of critical infrastructure, and cooperation in the international arena that includes capacity building.

E Outer Space

Japan and the U.S. discussed a wide range of cooperation on space, including the area of security at the Space Security Dialogue in March, and at the Japan-U.S.-Australia Space Security Dialogue in October. Japan and the U.S. are continuing to cooperate on space security, including through mutual exchange of information in the field of Space Situational Awareness (SSA), and efforts to ensure the resiliency of space assets (i.e. the ability to maintain the function of facilities or systems required for the operation of the space system even during unforeseen circumstances).

F Trilateral Cooperation

Japan and the U.S. place importance on security and defense cooperation with allies and partners in the Asia-Pacific region. In particular, the two countries are steadily promoting trilateral cooperation with Australia, the ROK, and India. At the Japan-U.S. Summit Meeting held in May and December as well as other meetings, the leaders affirmed that this trilateral cooperation would promote the shared security interests of Japan and the U.S., and that it will contribute to improving the security environment in the Asia-Pacific region. Also, following the nuclear test and repeated ballistic missile launches by North Korea in January and September, the importance of trilateral cooperation among Japan, the U.S. and the ROK was reconfirmed at the Summit Meetings and Foreign Ministers' Meetings between Japan and the U.S., and Japan and the ROK.

G Information Security

Information security plays a crucial role in advancing cooperation within the context of the alliance. The two countries have been continuously discussing ways to further improve information security systems, including introducing government-wide security clearances and further enhancing counterintelligence measures (designed to prevent information leaks through espionage activities).

H Maritime Security

In fora such as the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) and the East Asia Summit (EAS), Japan and the U.S. stress the importance of solving maritime issues in accordance with international law. The New Guidelines announced in April 2015 also provide that Japan and the U.S. will cooperate closely with each other on measures to maintain maritime order in accordance with international law, including the freedom of navigation.

(3) Realignment of U.S. Forces in Japan

In the “2+2” joint statement in April 2015, Japan and the United States reaffirmed the two governments' continued commitment to implement the existing arrangements on the realignment of the U.S. Forces in Japan as soon as possible, while ensuring operational capability, including training capability, throughout the process. Also, on various occasions, the two governments have reaffirmed that the plan to construct the Futenma Replacement Facility (FRF) at the Camp Schwab-Henokosaki area and adjacent waters is the only solution to eliminate risks associated with MCAS Futenma as quickly as possible, and to realize the total return of MCAS Futenma, which is pending agenda for two decades, while maintaining the deterrence of the U.S. Forces. Japan and the U.S. will also continue to work closely on the steady implementation of the relocation of approximately 9,000 U.S. Marine Corps from Okinawa to outside the country such as Guam, which will begin in the first half of the 2020s, and on the return of land south of Kadena based on the April 2013 “Consolidation Plan for Facilities and Areas in Okinawa”, including the projects announced in the December 2015 “Implementation of Bilateral Plans for Consolidating Facilities and Areas in Okinawa”.

In December, the return of a major portion of the Northern Training Area (NTA, approximately 3,987 hectares) was realized, after 20 years of being a pending agenda since the 1996 Special Action Committee on Okinawa (SACO) Final Report. The returned land accounted for approximately 20% of the U.S. facilities and areas Forces in Okinawa and was a largest single land return since the reversion of Okinawa. This land return contributed not only to the impact mitigation but also to the local development through the effective use of the returned land. The government will provide the maximum support, in light of the voices of the local communities, and make full consideration for the local living environment in cooperation with the U.S. Government.

The Government of Japan will continue to strive for mitigating the impact on Okinawa, while making all efforts to realize the return of MCAS Futenma as soon as possible, advancing its relocation to Henoko in accordance with the law.

(4) Host Nation Support (HNS)

Under the security environment surrounding Japan which is becoming increasingly severe, from the standpoint that it is important to ensure smooth and effective operation of the USFJ, Japan bears the rent for USFJ facilities and areas and the Facility Improvement Program (FIP) funding stipulated within the scope of the Status of U.S. Forces Agreement. In addition to this, under the special measures agreements, Japan also bears labor costs, utility costs, and training relocation costs for U.S. Forces in Japan.

Based on the Japan-U.S. Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) and special measures agreement that came into force on 1 April 2016, the Government of Japan bears Host Nation Support (HNS) from FY2016 to FY2020.

(5) Various Issues Related to the Presence of U.S. Forces in Japan

To ensure the smooth and effective operation of the Japan-U.S. security arrangements and the stable presence of U.S. Forces in Japan as the linchpin of these arrangements, it is important to mitigate the impact of U.S. Forces activities on residents living in the vicinity and to gain their understanding and support regarding the presence of U.S. Forces. In particular, the importance of promoting mitigation of the impact on Okinawa, where U.S. Forces facilities and areas are concentrated, has been confirmed mutually by Japan and the U.S. on numerous occasions, including the Japan-U.S. summits, the “2+2” meetings, and the Japan- U.S. foreign ministerial meetings.

While continuing to work towards the realignment of U.S. Forces in Japan, Japan has been making its utmost efforts to make improvements in specific issues in light of the requests of local communities such as preventing incidents and accidents involving U.S. Forces, reducing the noise impact by U.S. Forces aircraft, and dealing with environmental issues at U.S. Forces facilities and areas in Japan.

In response to the suspected murder by a civilian component of the U.S. Forces in Japan in April, both the Japanese and U.S. Governments engaged in discussions to establish effective measures to prevent the recurrence of such incidents. In July, they issued the “United States-Japan Joint Statement on Reviewing Implementation Practices of the Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) Related to U.S. Personnel with SOFA Status, Including the Civilian Component.” In this joint statement, the two governments declared their commitment to take steps to finalize and announce the respective detailed measures in areas including the clarification of the scope of the civilian component.

Thereafter, based on this joint statement, the two governments continued to engage in intensive consultations. In December, they reached a substantive agreement on the Agreement on cooperation with regard to implementation practices relating to the civilian component of the U.S. Forces in Japan. This supplementary agreement was signed and entered into force in January 2017. It supplements and clarifies the scope of the civilian component set forth in SOFA through the form of an international commitment, and this was the second time that a supplementary agreement to the SOFA had been drawn up, following from the Agreement on Cooperation in the Field of Environmental Stewardship concluded in 2015. Through the steady implementation of this supplementary agreement, the Japanese government expects that Japan-U.S. cooperation is further promoted, and recurrence of incidents and accidents by civilian components is prevented through strengthening the management over the civilian component of U.S. Forces in Japan.

Realignment of U.S. Forces in Japan

(6) United Nations Command (UNC) and U.S. Forces in Japan

As the Korean War broke out in June 1950, United Nations Command (UNC) was established in July of the same year based on UN Security Council Resolution 83 and Resolution 84. Following the ceasefire agreement concluded in July 1953, UNC Headquarters was relocated to Seoul in July 1957, and UNC (Rear) was established in Japan. UNC (Rear) placed in Yokota Air Base currently has a stationed commander and three other staff and military attaches from eight countries who are stationed at embassies in Tokyo as liaison officers for UNC.

Based on Article 5 of the Agreement Regarding the Status of the United Nations Forces in Japan, UNC may use the U.S. Forces facilities and areas in Japan to the minimum extent required to provide support for military logistics for UNC. At present, UNC is authorized to use the following seven facilities: Camp Zama, U.S. Fleet Activities, Yokosuka, U.S. Fleet Activities, Sasebo, Yokota Air Base, Kadena Air Base, Futenma Air Station, and White Beach Area.