Security Consultative Committee Document
U.S.-Japan Alliance:
Transformation and Realignment for the Future

October 29, 2005


Secretary of State Rice
Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld

Minister of Foreign Affairs Machimura
Minister of State for Defense Ohno


I. Overview

The U.S.-Japan Alliance, with the U.S.-Japan security arrangements at its core, is the indispensable foundation of Japan's security and of peace and stability in the Asia-Pacific region. A close, cooperative relationship based on the alliance also plays an important role in effectively dealing with global challenges, and must evolve to reflect the changing security environment. Therefore, following the December 2002 meeting of the Security Consultative Committee (SCC), the U.S. and Japan intensified consultations on respective U.S. and Japanese security and defense policies in order to examine the direction of the U.S.-Japan alliance, and to develop options to adapt the alliance to the changing regional and global security environment.

At the February 19, 2005 meeting of the SCC, the Ministers reached an understanding on common strategic objectives, and underscored the need to continue examinations of the roles, missions, and capabilities of Japan's Self-Defense Forces (SDF) and the U.S. Armed Forces in pursuing those objectives. They also decided to intensify their consultations on realignment of U.S. force structure in Japan and directed their staffs to report expeditiously on the results.

Today, the SCC members reaffirmed their shared view of the security environment, in which new and emerging threats have surfaced as common challenges that can affect the security of nations worldwide, including the U.S. and Japan. They also reemphasized the persistent challenges in the Asia-Pacific region that create unpredictability and uncertainty and underscored the need to pay attention to modernization of military capabilities in the region. In this context, both sides reiterated their commitment to work closely together to pursue the regional and global common strategic objectives identified in their February 19, 2005 Joint Statement.

The SCC members approved findings and recommendations on roles, missions, and capabilities. They also approved recommendations for realignment, as reflected in this report. These measures are designed to enhance the alliance's capability to meet new threats and diverse contingencies and, as a whole, will reduce burdens on local communities, thereby strengthening security and ensuring the alliance remains the anchor of regional stability.

II. Roles, Missions, and Capabilities

Both sides recognized recent achievements and developments in security and defense policies related to the roles, missions, and capabilities of the U.S. and Japan, to include: bilateral cooperation in international activities such as the fight against terrorism, the Proliferation Security Initiative (PSI), assistance to Iraq, and disaster relief following the tsunami in the Indian Ocean and the earthquake in South Asia; Japan's December 2004 National Defense Program Guidelines; progress in ballistic missile defense (BMD) cooperation; Japan's legislation to deal with contingencies; the SDF's planned transition to a new joint operations posture; and the transformation and global posture realignment of U.S. forces.

1. Primary Areas

In this context, the U.S. and Japan examined bilateral roles, missions, and capabilities, particularly those of the U.S. forces and the SDF, for responding to diverse challenges in the contemporary security environment, placing primary emphasis on the following two areas:

-- Defense of Japan and responses to situations in areas surrounding Japan, including responses to new threats and diverse contingencies;

-- Efforts to improve the international security environment, such as participation in international peace cooperation activities.

2. Basic Concepts of Roles, Missions, and Capabilities

Both sides confirmed several basic concepts relevant to bilateral defense cooperation. Related to defense of Japan and responses to situations in areas surrounding Japan, these concepts include:

  • Bilateral defense cooperation remains vital to the security of Japan as well as to peace and stability of the region.
  • Japan will defend itself and respond to situations in areas surrounding Japan, including addressing new threats and diverse contingencies such as ballistic missile attacks, attacks by guerilla and special forces, and invasion of remote islands. For these purposes, Japan's defense posture will be strengthened in accordance with the 2004 National Defense Program Guidelines.
  • The U.S. will maintain forward-deployed forces, and augment them as needed, for the defense of Japan as well as to deter and respond to situations in areas surrounding Japan. The U.S. will provide all necessary support for the defense of Japan.
  • U.S. and Japanese operations in the defense of Japan and responses to situations in areas surrounding Japan must be consistent so that appropriate responses will be ensured when a situation in areas surrounding Japan threatens to develop into an armed attack against Japan or when such a situation and an armed attack against Japan occur simultaneously.
  • Japan will continue to provide host nation support including facilities and areas for U.S. forces (hereafter referred to as "U.S. facilities and areas"). Japan will also take appropriate measures to provide seamless support to U.S. operations as the situation evolves, including support based on Japan's legislation to deal with contingencies. Both sides will work with local communities to ensure stable support for the presence and operations of U.S. forces in Japan.
  • U.S. strike capabilities and the nuclear deterrence provided by the U.S. remain an essential complement to Japan's defense capabilities in ensuring the defense of Japan and contribute to peace and security in the region.

Both sides also confirmed several basic concepts relevant to roles, missions, and capabilities in the area of improving the international security environment, to include:

  • Bilateral cooperation in improving the international security environment to achieve regional and global common strategic objectives has become an important element of the alliance. To this end, the U.S. and Japan contribute as appropriate based on their respective capabilities, and take necessary measures to establish effective posture.
  • Rapid and effective response requires flexible capabilities and can benefit from close U.S.-Japan bilateral cooperation and policy coordination. Regular exercises, including those with third countries, can improve these capabilities.
  • The U.S. forces and the SDF will strengthen cooperation with other partners to contribute to international activities to improve the international security environment.

In addition, both sides emphasized that the increasing importance of addressing new threats and diverse contingencies and improving the international security environment compels both sides to develop their respective defense capabilities, and to maximize the benefits of innovations in technology.

3. Examples of Operations in Bilateral Security and Defense Cooperation to be Improved

Both sides reconfirmed that the entire spectrum of bilateral cooperation must be strengthened, consistent with relevant national security policies and laws, and with agreements between the U.S. and Japan. Through their examination of roles, missions, and capabilities, they emphasized the importance of improving several specific areas of cooperation:

  • Air defense.
  • Ballistic missile defense.
  • Counter-proliferation operations, such as the Proliferation Security Initiative (PSI).
  • Counter-terrorism.
  • Minesweeping, maritime interdiction, and other operations to maintain the security of maritime traffic.
  • Search and rescue operations.
  • Intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) operations, including increasing capabilities and effectiveness of operations by unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) and maritime patrol aircraft.
  • Humanitarian relief operations.
  • Reconstruction assistance operations.
  • Peacekeeping operations and capacity building for other nations' peacekeeping efforts.
  • Protection of critical infrastructure, including U.S. facilities and areas in Japan.
  • Response to attacks by weapons of mass destruction (WMD), including disposal and decontamination of WMD.
  • Mutual logistics support activities such as supply, maintenance, and transportation. Supply cooperation includes mutual provision of aerial and maritime refueling. Transportation cooperation includes expanding and sharing airlift and sealift, including the capability provided by high speed vessels (HSV).
  • Transportation, use of facilities, medical support, and other related activities for non-combatant evacuation operations (NEO).
  • Use of seaport and airport facilities, road, water space and airspace, and frequency bands.

Both sides emphasized that other areas of operations not explicitly listed above remain important to alliance capabilities; this list highlights key areas for further enhancement but is not intended to be an exhaustive list of possible areas of cooperation.

4. Essential Steps to Strengthen Posture for Bilateral Security and Defense Cooperation

Based on the examination of roles, missions, and capabilities described above, both sides further identified the following essential steps that can be taken in peacetime to strengthen the posture of bilateral security and defense cooperation to deal with diverse challenges in the new security environment. Both sides also emphasized the importance of continuing examinations of roles, missions, and capabilities, based on the progress made thus far, to ensure effective bilateral cooperation.

  • Close and Continuous Policy and Operational Coordination.
    Both sides recognized that regular policy and operational coordination will improve the alliance's timely and effective response to future changes in the strategic environment and to contingencies. Close and continuous policy and operational coordination at every level of government, from unit tactical level through strategic consultations, is essential to dissuade destabilizing military build-ups, to deter aggression, and to respond to diverse security challenges. Development of a common operational picture shared between U.S. forces and the SDF will strengthen operational coordination and should be pursued where possible. Closer cooperation between defense and other pertinent authorities is also increasingly necessary. In this context, both sides reaffirmed the need to improve the effectiveness of the comprehensive mechanism and bilateral coordination mechanism under the 1997 Guidelines for U.S.-Japan Defense Cooperation by streamlining their functions.
  • Advancing Bilateral Contingency Planning.
    Recalling that the 1997 Guidelines for U.S.-Japan Defense Cooperation provide a basis for bilateral defense planning and mutual cooperation planning, both sides affirmed the continual requirement for such planning while taking full account of the changing security environment. This planning will reflect Japan's legislation to deal with contingencies, which provides a strengthened basis for contingency use by U.S. forces and the SDF of facilities, including airports and seaports, in Japan. Both sides will expand their planning by adding specificity, coordinating closely with relevant government agencies and local authorities, enhancing bilateral mechanisms and planning methods, conducting detailed surveys of civilian and SDF air and seaports, and validating their planning work through strengthened bilateral exercise programs.
  • Enhancing Information Sharing and Intelligence Cooperation.
    Recognizing that common situational awareness is a key to well coordinated cooperation, both sides will enhance information sharing and intelligence cooperation in the whole range from unit tactical level through national strategic level. To facilitate this interaction, both sides will take additional necessary measures to protect shared classified information so that broader information sharing is promoted among pertinent authorities.
  • Improving Interoperability.
    To ensure smooth cooperation as the SDF transitions to a joint operations posture, U.S. forces and the SDF will maintain regular consultations to maintain and strengthen interoperability. Continued cooperation in planning for bilateral operations and exercises will strengthen connectivity between the headquarters of U.S. forces and the SDF and will benefit from improved secure communications capabilities.
  • Expanding Training Opportunities in Japan and the United States.
    Both sides will expand opportunities for bilateral training and exercises to improve interoperability, improve capabilities, enhance readiness, more equitably distribute training impacts among local communities, and advance the effectiveness of bilateral operations. These measures will include increasing mutual use of U.S. and SDF training facilities and areas throughout Japan. The training of SDF personnel and units in Guam, Alaska, Hawaii, and the U.S. mainland will also be expanded.
    • In particular, the U.S. plan to expand its training infrastructure in Guam will provide increased training opportunities for the SDF in Guam.
    • Additionally, both sides recognized that U.S. forces and SDF participation in multinational training and exercises will enhance their contribution to a better international security environment.
  • Shared Use of Facilities by U.S. Forces and the SDF.
    Both sides recognized that shared-use of facilities between U.S. forces and the SDF contributes to closer bilateral operational coordination and improved interoperability. Specific opportunities for shared use of facilities are described in the force posture realignment recommendations (see section below).
  • Ballistic Missile Defense (BMD).
    Emphasizing that BMD plays a critical role in deterring and defending against ballistic missile attacks, and can dissuade other parties from development and proliferation of ballistic missiles, both sides stressed the value of closely coordinating improvements in their respective BMD capabilities. To support these BMD systems, they emphasized the critical importance of constant information gathering and sharing, as well as maintaining high readiness and interoperability in light of the minimal time available to respond to a ballistic missile threat. The U.S. will deploy additional complementary capabilities in and around Japan when appropriate, coordinating their operations to support Japan's missile defense operations. Close coordination between respective BMD command and control systems will be critical to effective missile defense operations.

Both sides committed to strengthen and improve the effectiveness of bilateral cooperation under the 1997 Guidelines for U.S.-Japan Defense Cooperation and, as appropriate, in additional areas not currently addressed by the Guidelines.

III. Force Posture Realignment

Both sides reviewed the posture of U.S. forces in Japan and related SDF forces, in light of their shared commitment to maintain deterrence and capabilities while reducing burdens on local communities, including those in Okinawa. Both sides recognized the importance of enhancing Japanese and U.S. public support for the security alliance, which contributes to sustainable presence of U.S. forces at facilities and areas in Japan.

1. Guiding Precepts

In their review, taking full account of the examination of bilateral roles, missions, and capabilities, both sides established several precepts to guide force posture realignments in Japan.

  • The U.S. military presence in the Asia-Pacific region is a core capability that is indispensable to regional peace and security and critical to both the U.S. and Japan. Japan contributes capabilities that are additional and complementary to those provided by the U.S. forces, while taking the leading role of providing for its own defense. The presence of U.S. forces and the SDF must evolve as the regional and global security environment changes and as both sides assess alliance roles and missions.
  • Capabilities will be strengthened through realignment as well as adjustment of roles, missions, and capabilities; these capabilities underpin the credibility of U.S. commitments to the defense of Japan and peace and security of the region.
  • Enhanced coordination and improved interoperability between headquarters for flexible and responsive command and control is a core capability of critical importance to the U.S. and Japan. In that context, both sides recognized the continued importance of Headquarters, U.S. Forces Japan for strengthened bilateral coordination.
  • Regular training and exercises, as well as availability of facilities and areas for these purposes, are essential to ensure readiness, employability, and interoperability of forces. When consistent with military missions and operational requirements, dispersal of training can provide greater diversity of training opportunities and can have the ancillary benefit of reducing burdens of training on local communities.
  • Shared military use of both U.S. and SDF facilities and areas is valuable in promoting effectiveness of bilateral cooperation and increasing efficiencies.
  • Adequate capacity of U.S. facilities and areas is necessary, and the capacity above typical daily peacetime usage levels also plays a critical and strategic role in meeting contingency requirements. This capacity can provide an indispensable and critical capability toward meeting local emergency needs such as in disaster relief and consequence management situations.
  • Particular attention will be paid to possible realignment of force structure in such regions where U.S. facilities and areas are concentrated in densely populated areas.
  • Opportunities to introduce civil-military dual-use of U.S. facilities and areas will be studied, where appropriate. Implementation of such dual-use must be compatible with military missions and operational requirements.

2. Recommendations for Realignment

Based upon intensive consultations conducted thus far and in keeping with these basic precepts, domestic and bilateral coordination should be conducted for the following initiatives in a timely manner, consistent with the U.S.-Japan Security Treaty and its related arrangements. The Ministers committed themselves to completing local coordination, and directed their staffs to finalize these specific and interrelated initiatives and develop plans, including concrete implementation schedules no later than March 2006. These initiatives represent elements of a coherent package, which will begin to be implemented upon agreement on the overall package. Both sides emphasized the importance of taking necessary measures required for the prompt implementation of these initiatives.

  • Strengthening Bilateral and Joint Operational Coordination. Recognizing the Government of Japan's intention to transform the SDF into a joint operations posture, the Headquarters, U.S. Forces Japan will establish a bilateral and joint operations coordination center at Yokota Air Base. The shared use of this center will ensure constant connectivity, coordination, and interoperability among U.S. forces in Japan and the SDF.
  • Improvement of U.S. Army Command and Control Capability. The capabilities of the U.S. Army Japan's command structure in Camp Zama will be modernized to a deployable, joint task force-capable operational headquarters element. The transformed command structure will provide an additional capability to respond rapidly for the defense of Japan and other contingencies. Adjustments to U.S. facilities and areas will be made to accommodate the new Army command structure and integral capabilities. The establishment of the headquarters of a Ground SDF Central Readiness Force Command, which will operate units for nation-wide mobile operations and special tasks, will be pursued at Camp Zama, thereby strengthening the coordination between the headquarters. In relation to this realignment, possibilities of more effective and efficient use of Camp Zama and Sagami General Depot will be explored.
  • Collocation of Air Command and Control. Japan's Air Defense Command and relevant units, currently located at Fuchu, will be collocated with the headquarters of the U.S. 5th Air Force at Yokota Air Base, strengthening the coordination between air and missile defense command and control elements, and sharing relevant sensor data through the bilateral and joint operations coordination center described above.
  • Yokota Air Base and Air Space. Measures to facilitate movement of civilian aircraft through Yokota air space will be explored, bearing in mind the planned expansion of nearby Haneda Airport in 2009. Possible options to study will include reducing the air space under U.S. control and collocation of Japanese air traffic controllers at Yokota Air Base. In addition, both sides will take into account development of the process of transferring the Kadena radar approach control. The specific conditions and modalities for possible civil-military dual-use will be studied, while noting that dual-use must not compromise the military operational capabilities of Yokota Air Base.
  • Missile Defense. The optimum site for deployment in Japan of a new U.S. X-Band radar system will be examined. Through timely information sharing, this radar will support capabilities to intercept missiles directed at Japan and capabilities for Japan's civil defense and consequence management. In addition, as appropriate, the U.S. will deploy active defenses, such as Patriot PAC-3 and Standard Missile (SM-3) to support U.S. treaty commitments.
  • Regional Realignment of U.S. Marine Forces for Flexible Crisis Response. As part of its global posture realignment effort, the U.S. is making several changes to strengthen its force structure in the Pacific. Among these changes are a strengthening of Marine Corps crisis response capabilities and a redistribution of those capabilities among Hawaii, Guam and Okinawa that will provide greater flexibility to respond with appropriate capabilities according to the nature and location of particular situations. These changes will also enable increased theater security cooperation with countries of the region, thereby improving the overall security environment. In connection with this realignment, both sides identified an integrated set of interrelated measures that will also substantially reduce burdens in Okinawa.
    • Acceleration of Futenma Relocation: Both sides, bearing in mind the strong request from residents of Okinawa for early return of Marine Corps Air Station (MCAS) Futenma, as well as the preference that any Futenma replacement facility (FRF) be located outside of Okinawa prefecture, considered options to satisfy these requests while maintaining the deterrence capabilities that will remain necessary in the future. They determined that the rapid crisis response capabilities provided by the presence of Marine Corps forces constitute a critical alliance capability that both sides desire to maintain in the region. Moreover, they recognized that sustaining those capabilities, which consist of air, ground, logistics and command elements, remains dependent upon the interaction of those elements in regular training, exercises and operations. For this reason, both sides concluded that the FRF must be located within Okinawa prefecture where rotary wing aircraft currently stationed at Futenma Air Station will be near the other elements with which they operate on a regular basis.
    • Both sides, recognizing the extensive delays in Futenma relocation resulting from the many problems related to the 1996 Special Action Committee on Okinawa (SACO) plan for relocation of Futenma Air Station to a civil-military facility located on a coral reef in deep waters, examined numerous other possible options for relocation within Okinawa prefecture that could accelerate return of Futenma Air Station while maintaining operational capabilities. Both sides considered several factors in this work, including:
      • Safety of neighboring communities and military personnel.
      • Noise impacts on local communities, taking into account future housing and commercial development patterns that might occur in the vicinity of the FRF.
      • Minimization of adverse environmental impacts.
      • Ability of the FRF to support operational and mission requirements in peacetime and in contingencies.
      • Inclusion of necessary operational support, billeting and related facilities in the FRF, to avoid creation of traffic congestion and related irritants that might otherwise detract from the quality of life of local residents.
    • Bearing such factors in mind, both sides will locate the FRF in an "L"-shaped configuration that combines the shoreline areas of Camp Schwab and adjacent water areas of Oura Bay. The runway portion of the facility will cross Henoko-saki, extending from Oura Bay into the water areas along the south shore of Camp Schwab. The lower section of the facility, oriented in a northeast-southwest direction will include a runway and overruns, with a total length of 1800 meters exclusive of seawalls. Hangers, maintenance, fuel supply pier and related infrastructure, and other aviation support activities required for the operation of the new facility will be located on the areas of the FRF to be constructed within Oura Bay. Furthermore, facilities in the Camp Schwab area will be reconfigured as necessary to accommodate the relocation of Futenma-related activities. (Reference: Initialed concept plan dated 26 October 2005. [PDF])
    • Both sides concurred that other capabilities now present at Futenma Air Station would be relocated and maintained as provided for in the SACO Final Report, with the following adjustments:
      • With regards to the KC-130's, which are to be relocated from Futenma Air Station to Iwakuni Air Station under SACO Final Report, alternative facilities will be considered with priority consideration given to Maritime SDF Kanoya Base. The final basing configuration will be determined by both sides based on ongoing operational and engineering studies.
      • Strengthened contingency use of the Air SDF bases at Nyutabaru and Tsuiki will be provided for U.S. forces. Improvements to operational facilities at these bases will be made to support this contingency use. These improved facilities, when completed, will also support the expanded bilateral training activities described in the Roles, Missions and Capabilities section of this report.
      • Improved contingency use of civilian facilities for long runway operations that cannot be replicated at the FRF will also be provided for U.S. forces.
    • Both sides recognized that early realization of the foregoing measures, in addition to enabling the long-desired return of Futenma Air Station, is an essential component of the realignment of the Marine Corps presence in Okinawa.
    • Force Reductions: In conjunction with the realignment of U.S. Marine Corps capabilities in the Pacific region outlined above, the headquarters of the III Marine Expeditionary Force (III MEF) will be relocated to Guam and other locations and the remaining Marine units in Okinawa will be realigned and reduced into a Marine Expeditionary Brigade (MEB). This realignment in Okinawa will include the transfer of approximately 7,000 Marine officers and enlisted personnel, plus dependents out of Okinawa. These transferred personnel will come from units in each of the elements of Marine capability (air, ground, logistics and command), including portions of the Marine Air Wing, the Force Service Support Group, and the 3d Marine Division.
    • The Government of Japan, recognizing the strong desire of Okinawa residents that such force relocations be realized rapidly, will work with the U.S. Government to examine and identify appropriate financial and other measures to enable the realization of these relocations to Guam.
    • Land Returns and Shared-Use of Facilities: Recognizing that successful relocation of Futenma Air Station and the force reductions described above will make further consolidation of forces and return of land possible, both sides discussed the concept of consolidation of those Marine Corps units that remain in Okinawa into a smaller total land area. This would enable the return of significant land in the densely populated areas south of Kadena Air Base. The U.S. stressed its willingness to develop and implement a concrete program for this concept in cooperation with the Government of Japan.
    • Furthermore, recognizing the limited access that the SDF have to facilities in Okinawa, most of which are located in urbanized areas, the U.S. also underscored its willingness to implement shared-use of Kadena Air Base, Camp Hansen, and other U.S. facilities and areas in Okinawa in cooperation with the Government of Japan. Both sides consider that such shared use could facilitate bilateral training and interoperability between their forces, as described in the Roles, Missions and Capabilities section of this report, and thereby strengthen overall alliance capabilities.
    • Steady Implementation of SACO Final Report: Both sides validated the importance of steady implementation of the recommendations of the Special Action Committee on Okinawa (SACO) Final Report unless otherwise changed by the recommendations in this document.
  • Relocation of Carrier Air Wing from Atsugi Air Facility to Iwakuni Air Station. To ensure the viability of a long-term forward-deployment of the U.S. aircraft carrier and its airwing, the carrier jet and E-2C squadrons will be relocated from Atsugi Air Facility to Iwakuni Air Station, which will have the necessary facilities and training airspace for safe and effective operation of the aircraft in a less intrusive manner after the current construction of the replacement runway is completed. To alleviate the impact of the increased operations at Iwakuni Air Station, the following related measures will be taken.
    • Relocation of Maritime SDF E/O/UP-3 squadrons and other aircraft from Iwakuni Air Station to Atsugi Air Facility.
    • Adjustment of training airspace for all U.S. Navy and U.S. Marine Corps aircraft to ensure adequate readiness levels are maintained.
    • Identification of a permanent field-carrier landing practice (FCLP) facility. In the interim, the U.S. will continue to conduct FCLPs at Iwo Jima in accordance with existing temporary arrangements. The Government of Japan reiterates its commitment to provide an acceptable permanent FCLP facility for U.S. naval aviation forces.
    • Development of necessary facilities at the Maritime SDF Kanoya Base to accommodate KC-130 aircraft. These facilities will also be available to support rotations of additional SDF or U.S. C-130 or P-3 aircraft from elsewhere in Japan to increase alliance capabilities and flexibility.
    • Development of necessary additional facilities, infrastructure, and training areas required to support U.S. Navy and U.S. Marine Corps units based at Iwakuni Air Station, as well as civil aviation operations.
  • Training Relocation. Consistent with the necessity of improving bilateral interoperability discussed in this report, and with reference to the goal of reducing the impact of training activity, renewed attention will be given to expanding the distribution of training from U.S. air facilities such as Kadena Air Base as well as Misawa Air Base and Iwakuni Air Station to other military facilities.
  • Efficient Use of Capacity at U.S. Facilities in Japan. Opportunities to strengthen U.S. cooperation with the Government of Japan and local communities regarding efficient use of capacity at U.S. facilities in Japan will be pursued when consistent with operational requirements and safety. For example, both sides will explore possibilities for utilizing the capacity of Sagami General Depot for meeting local emergency needs such as in disaster relief and civilian consequence management.

Future changes in U.S. facilities and areas and force structure not addressed elsewhere in this report will be addressed in accordance with existing practices under the U.S.-Japan Security Treaty and its related arrangements.

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