Diplomatic Bluebook 2020
Japan's Foreign Policy to Promote National and Global 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 and uncertain at a remarkably rapid pace, 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 Indo-Pacific region. The Japan-U.S. Alliance has become more solid than ever under the relationship of trust between their leaders. Given this, Japan and the U.S. are further enhancing their deterrence and response capabilities under the 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, 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 for Japan-U.S. Defense Cooperation, which were 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 Japan-U.S. defense cooperation. Through the Alliance Coordination Mechanism (ACM) established under these Guidelines, Japan and the U.S. have shared information closely, established a common understanding of the situation, and provided “seamless” responses from peacetime to contingencies. In the “2+2” meeting held in April 2019, four cabinet-level officials from Japan and the U.S. concurred that the Japan-U.S. Alliance serves as the cornerstone of peace, security, and prosperity in the Indo-Pacific region and that Japan and the U.S. will work together to realize a “Free and Open Indo-Pacific,” and to strengthen cooperation in cross-domain operations such as improving capabilities in non-conventional domains that include space, cyberspace, and the electromagnetic spectrum. They also affirmed that cyberattacks could, in certain circumstances constitute armed attacks, for the purposes of Article 5 of the Japan-U.S. Security Treaty. Also at the meeting, the Ministers reaffirmed that Article 5 of the Japan-U.S. Security Treaty applies to the Senkaku Islands and that both nations oppose any unilateral action that seeks to undermine Japan's administration of these islands. There have been active interpersonal exchanges between high-level officials, with visits to Japan by Chief of Naval Operations Admiral Richardson in January, Commandant of the Marine Corps General Neller in March, Acting Secretary of Defense Shanahan in June, Secretary of Defense Esper and Commandant of the Marine Corps General Berger in August, Commander of U.S. Indo-Pacific Command Admiral Davidson in October, and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Milley in November. In addition, the Japan-U.S. Extended Deterrence Dialogue was held in June 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 multilayered 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 Ballistic Missile Defense (BMD)
Japan has been making steady efforts to develop and engage in the production of the BMD system, such as the decision to introduce a ground-deployed Aegis system (Aegis Ashore) reached in 2017, while continuing cooperation with the U.S., which includes the steady implementation of joint development and joint production of the Standard Missile 3 (SM-3 Block IIA) since 2006. Japan has been fully prepared to protect the lives and property of its citizens from the threat of ballistic missiles to Japan under any circumstances.
The two countries held the seventh Japan-U.S. Cyber Dialogue in Tokyo in October. Based on the necessity for cross-government efforts by both Japan and the U.S., participants from both sides had a follow-up discussion on matters including the outcome of the sixth dialogue held in July 2018. They also engaged in wide-ranging discussions on Japan-U.S. cooperation in cyberspace, including awareness about the situations, cyber countermeasures in both countries, cooperation in the international arena, and support for capacity building.
Japan and the U.S. have held discussions on a wide range of cooperation on space through events such as the Sixth Comprehensive Dialogue on Space, held in July. Japan and the U.S. will continue to cooperate on space security, including through mutual exchanges of information in the field of Space Situational Awareness (SSA) and others, as well as concrete examinations of cooperation over hosted payloads (which refers to sending equipment and materials for missions along on artificial satellites).
E Trilateral and Multilateral Cooperation
Japan and the U.S. place importance on security and defense cooperation with allies and partners in the Indo-Pacific region. At the Japan-U.S. “2+2” meeting in April, it was concurred that the U.S., Japan and the Republic of Korea would closely coordinate together. In occasions such as the Japan-U.S. Summit Meeting in May, the leaders concurred to continue strengthening and expanding networks among allies and friendly nations, including Japan-U.S.-India, Japan-U.S.-Australia, as well as Japan-U.S.-Australia-India networks. In June, the second Japan-U.S.-India Summit Meeting was held and the leaders reaffirmed the critical importance of their trilateral cooperation in efforts to maintain and promote a “Free and Open Indo-Pacific.” In particular, the leaders concurred to strengthen cooperation in various fields such as maritime security, security in new domains including space and cyberspace, and quality infrastructure investment. At the Japan-Australia-India-U.S. Ministerial in September, the Ministers from the four countries discussed collective efforts to advance a free, open, prosperous, and inclusive Indo-Pacific region.
F Information Security
Information security plays a crucial role in advancing cooperation within the context of the alliance. Based on this perspective, both countries continue to hold discussions designed to enhance their cooperation regarding information security.
G Maritime Security
In forums 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 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. Additionally, at the “2+2” meeting in April 2019, four cabinet-level officials from the U.S. and Japan confirmed that both countries will jointly strengthen their presence in the region, including through joint exercises and port calls, while cooperating with partners in the region.
(3) Realignment of U.S. Forces in Japan
The Government of Japan will continue to make every effort to mitigate the impact on local communities, including Okinawa, by soundly promoting the realignment of U.S. Forces in Japan, including the prompt relocation to Henoko and the return of MCAS Futenma, while still maintaining the deterrence capabilities of said forces.
In the joint statement issued by Japan and the U.S. in February 2017, the two governments affirmed, for the first time in a document at the summit level, that constructing the Futenma Replacement Facility (FRF) at the Camp Schwab-Henokosaki area and adjacent waters is the only solution to avoid the continued use of MCAS Futenma. Furthermore, in the “2+2” joint statement in April 2019, the two governments reaffirmed their understanding that the plan to construct the Futenma Replacement Facility (FRF) at the Camp Schwab-Henokosaki area and adjacent waters is the only solution that avoids the continued use of MCAS Futenma, and underscored their strong determination to achieve its completion as soon as possible.
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.”
In addition to the return of a major portion of the Northern Training Area (NTA, approximately 4,000 hectares) in December 2017, the return of West Futenma Housing Area of Camp Zukeran (approximately 51 hectares) in March 2018, the return of land along the eastern side of MCAS Futenma (approximately 4 hectares) in July 2017, the return of land along National Route No. 58 in the Makiminato Service Area (approximately 3 hectares) in March 2018, and the return of a zone of approximately 2 hectares near Gate 5 in the Makiminato Service Area was realized in March 2019. In addition, the rotation deployment of U.S. Marine Corps KC-130 aerial tanker unit to Kanoya Air Field in accordance with the U.S.-Japan Roadmap for Realignment Implementation established in May 2006 started from September 2019. This move will alleviate the impact of increased operations entailing relocation of the KC-130 unit and carrier airwing unit to Iwakuni Air Base.
(4) Host Nation Support (HNS)
The security environment surrounding Japan is becoming increasingly severe and uncertain at a remarkably rapid pace. From the standpoint that it is important to ensure smooth and effective operation of U.S. Forces, Japan bears the rent for USFJ facilities and areas and the Facility Improvement Program (FIP) funding stipulated within the scope of the Japan-U.S. Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA). In addition to this, under the Special Measures Agreement, Japan also bears labor costs, utility costs, and training relocation costs for USFJ.
Based on SOFA and Special Measures Agreement that came into force on April 1, 2016 (effective through fiscal 2020), the Government of Japan bears Host Nation Support (HNS).
(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 USFJ 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 mitigating the impact on Okinawa, where U.S. Forces' facilities and areas are concentrated, has been confirmed between Japan and the U.S. on numerous occasions, including the Japan-U.S. Summit Meeting in April 2018 and the “2+2” meeting in April 2019. The Government of Japan will continue to work to address the realignment of U.S. Forces in Japan. At the same time, the Government of Japan has been making utmost efforts to make improvements in specific issues in light of the requests from local communities. Among these issues are preventing incidents and accidents involving U.S. Forces, abating the noise by U.S. Forces' aircraft, and dealing with environmental issues at U.S. Forces' facilities and areas, including the sound implementation of the Agreement on Cooperation in the Field of Environmental Stewardship concluded in 2015 and the Agreement on Cooperation with regard to Implementation Practices relating to the Civilian Component of the United States Armed Forces in Japan concluded in 2017. In July 2019, revisions were made to the Guidelines Regarding Off-Base U.S. Military Aircraft Accidents in Japan that provide for entry by Japanese or U.S. personnel into a restricted area to be conducted quickly and in a timely fashion.
April 2019 saw the launch of the second TOFU: Think of Okinawa's Future in the U.S. program, which sent 24 high school students, university students, and other young people from Okinawa to the U.S. This program aims to provide an opportunity for young people from Okinawa to witness for themselves what the U.S. is truly like, and the role that Japan plays in the international community, as well as to promote mutual understanding by having them interact with local important officials and young people in English (see the Column on page 178).
Since 2018, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has been sending high school and university students who will be the future leaders of Okinawa to the U.S. under the Think of Okinawa's Future in the U.S. (TOFU) program. This program aims to nurture those who can think about Japan-U.S. relations from a global perspective, and play an active role in the international community. In the second round of this program held in March 2019, 24 students representing Okinawa Prefecture visited Washington D.C. and New York for about one week. This column features the voices of the participants.
In Washington D.C., we visited the U.S. Department of State where we experienced what it was like to be a diplomat through a role-playing activity. We were divided into teams representing the Japanese Embassy and the U.S. Embassy with a scenario in which a volcanic eruption or demonstration has occurred in a certain country. Our task was to figure out how we would evacuate and rescue the citizens of our own countries. It was very difficult to come up with the best solution within the time limit, and all the students were puzzled over the task. However, we enjoyed working on it, and it was a very valuable experience. We also visited the White House, the U.S. Capitol, the National Archives, and the Embassy of Japan in the U.S. Furthermore, we interacted with local high school students, and made presentations about the culture and attractiveness of Japan and Okinawa, covering topics such as karate, traditional Ryukyu dance, tea ceremony, and kanji. In New York, after listening to talks by Ambassador Bessho, Permanent Representative of Japan to the UN, and Mr. Komatsubara, TICAD Programme Adviser at the Regional Bureau for Africa of the UN Development Programme (UNDP), we met with Ambassador Kennedy, former U.S. Ambassador to Japan. We expressed our opinions and asked questions about the U.S. military bases in Okinawa. Since views on the issue vary from generation to generation in Okinawa, citizens of Okinawa too understand that the removal or relocation of the bases has been a very difficult problem. Ambassador Kennedy stated that the U.S. military is always looking for the best solution, and I felt that there is a need to transform the presence of the bases into Okinawa's strength.
After the program, we brought our experiences back to Okinawa and shared our new knowledge through social media. We also gave presentations at our schools. Since the TOFU experience, I have begun watching the news and reading newspapers more frequently.
The experience of meeting people I would definitely not have been able to meet in my daily life and being able to exchange views with them has become something I will never forget.
Through this program, I experienced the joy of being able to communicate our thoughts and views directly to those who play an active role on the frontlines of politics, including Ambassador Kennedy, former U.S. Ambassador to Japan. Moreover, I gained a solid sense of what it is like to be involved in politics and social issues, which seemed very far from my personal life. What left a particular impression on me was raising questions at the White House and the exchange with Ambassador Kennedy. Our visit to the U.S. coincided with when the White House petition website was receiving many signatures to oppose the relocation of the U.S. military base to Henoko. I had been cynical about whether these signatures were actually reaching the intended authorities, but they had in fact been delivered. I realized that efforts are also being made overseas to consider and do something about this issue. Ambassador Kennedy places importance not only on political issues, but also on traditional culture as well as exchanges between high school students of Okinawa and the U.S. Her obvious and heartfelt love for Okinawa made me feel a sense of affinity with her.
Through this experience, I strongly felt that Okinawa is an island to be proud of. That is precisely why I feel that, by sharing Okinawa's strengths and issues, I could gain various perspectives and contribute to realizing a better future for Okinawa. I will never forget all the things I have learned through this program, and I will continue to put my best efforts into doing everything I can for Okinawa.
(6) United Nations Command (UNC) and U.S. Forces in Japan
Coincident with the start of the Korean War in June 1950, the United Nations Command (UNC) was established in July of the same year based on UN Security Council resolution 83 in June and resolution 84 in July. Following the ceasefire agreement concluded in July 1953, UNC Headquarters was relocated to Seoul, South Korea in July 1957, and UNC (Rear) was established in Japan. Established at Yokota Air Base, UNC (Rear) currently has a stationed commander and four other staff and military attachés from nine 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, Marine Corps Air Station Futenma, and White Beach Area.
In May 2019, General Abrams, Commander of the UN Command, the Combined Forces Command, and U.S. Forces Korea made a courtesy call on Foreign Minister Kono, where the two sides reaffirmed the long-running partnership between Japan and the UNC. A joint board was then held in July between the Government of Japan and UNC that marked the first time in over 60 years that any substantial discussions had been held between the two sides over matters not concerning the usage of facilities and areas. The meetings saw discussions held over the situation on the Korean Peninsula, with the two sides reaching an agreement on notification procedures in case of unusual occurrences related to the United Nations Command Forces in Japan. The Government of Japan will continue to work closely with the UNC.