Global Opportunity for US-Japan Alliance

Geography is a defining theme and one of the biggest differences between the new US-Japan Defense Cooperation guidelines and those included in the last change in 1997, said Defense Secretary Ash Carter during Monday’s rollout. US-Japan security cooperation has gone from being “locally focused to globally focused,” he said. Cooperation will expand from joint planning and command and control activities to expanded information sharing and humanitarian assistance operations. The changes allow Japan more latitude to deploy its military abroad than at any point since World War II. A new “alliance coordination mechanism” will operate from the cabinet level down in both countries, and will feature representatives from the foreign and defense ministries, as well as the State and Defense Departments, to enable “seamless response” in a wide range of scenarios from “peacetime to contingencies.” Japanese Self Defense Forces will make greater contributions to “security initiatives” beyond the Japanese periphery “in a way consistent with Japanese laws and regulations,” such as maritime security operations, and logistics support to the US and allies. The US and Japanese delegations also agreed to enhance bilateral defense cooperation in several areas, to include continued intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance cooperation, such as the rotational deployment of the USAF’s RQ-4 Global Hawk remotely piloted aircraft to Misawa AB, Japan.