Meeting between Foreign Minister Kishida and U.S. National Security Advisor Susan Rice (Summary)
On February 7, Fumio Kishida, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Japan, held a meeting with Susan Rice, National Security Advisor to U.S. President, for nearly one hour from 4 p.m. during his visit to the United States. (The meeting was also attended by Evan Medeiros, Senior Director for Asian Affairs at the National Security Council (NSC), and Raymond Green, Director for Japan Affairs at the NSC, on the U.S. side; Kenichiro Sasae, Ambassador to the United States, and Koji Tomita, Director-General of the North American Affairs Bureau at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, on the Japanese side.) An outline of the meeting is as follows:
1. General Discussion
In the beginning, Minister Kishida pointed out that the Abe Administration has achieved progress in a number of security issues, including the relocation of the U.S. Marine Corps' Air Station Futenma and successfully holding the Japan-U.S. Security Consultative Committee ("2 plus 2") in Tokyo last year. Minister Kishida explained that Prime Minister Abe has been promoting diplomacy based on his policy of "proactive contribution to peace," which calls for active contributions to peace and stability in the region and the international community, adding that Japan hopes to work closely with the United States.
National Security Advisor Rice valued the Abe Administration's proactive attitude on security issues. Both sides reaffirmed Japan-U.S. cooperation in areas such as development assistance in Southeast Asia and other regions.
Minister Kishida said Japan would very much like to welcome President Obama as a State Guest, from the viewpoint of strengthening the Japan-U.S. alliance.
2. Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) Negotiations
National Security Advisor Rice expressed the United States' hope of achieving an early conclusion to the TPP negotiations with a high-standard agreement.
Minister Kishida stated that the TPP is important for the Japan-U.S. alliance as well as from the strategic viewpoint of the whole region. He said he shared his views with Secretary Kerry that the two countries would make efforts to bring the TPP negotiations to an early conclusion. To that end, it is important for both sides to make efforts showing flexibility, he added.
(1) Japan-U.S. Security Relations
Minister Kishida said he hopes to demonstrate the strength of Japan-U.S. alliance both internationally and domestically, given the historic opportunity of this year to revise the Guidelines for Japan-U.S. Defense Cooperation. Also, regarding the realignment of the U.S. military, he mentioned that the Japanese government welcomes the approval for landfill of Henoko by Governor of Okinawa Prefecture Nakaima and the enactment of the U.S. National Defense Authorization Act. Minister Kishida stated that Japan hopes to move the Futenma relocation forward steadily with the cooperation of the United States.
National Security Advisor Rice highly valued the progress made toward the relocation of the Futenma air station.
(2) North Korea
National Security Advisor Rice spoke highly of the close communications and cooperation between Japan and the United States regarding North Korea and said the United States understands that the abduction issue is an important and sensitive problem for Japan.
Minister Kishida replied that China’s involvement remains important in dealing with problems of North Korea. At the same time, trilateral collaboration between Japan, the United States and the Republic of Korea is also the key, he said. Minister Kishida added that Japan hopes to collaborate with the United States including on matters related to the joint military exercise between the United States and the ROK scheduled for the end of February.
(3) Japan-ROK Relations
On relations between Japan and the ROK, to which the United States attaches importance, Minister Kishida said that the ROK is an important neighbor for Japan and that Japan hopes to develop bilateral relations from a broad perspective. He stated that Japan believes it is important to have dialogues at political level, at the summit level in particular, and wishes to improve the relationship by building up concrete cooperation.
(4) ChinaMinister Kishida said Japan will work to improve its relations with China by returning to the basic principle of the Mutually Beneficial Relationship Based on Common Strategic Interests between the two countries. At the same time, Japan will take a calm and resolute approach to any attempts by China to change the status quo by force, he said. Minister Kishida also stated that China's announcement of the establishment of the Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ) was a serious problem and any actions that threaten the safety of civil aviation cannot be tolerated.