(Tokyo Shimbun: November 4, 2015 – p. 6)
The following is the gist of talks between Defense Minister Gen Nakatani and U.S. Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter:
Nakatani, Carter: We welcome the establishment of the new “Alliance Coordination Mechanism” comprising such areas as security and foreign policy in the two governments. We will continue our efforts to make the updated Japan-U.S. Defense Cooperation Guidelines more effective.
Nakatani, Carter: We agree to oppose any attempt to change the status quo of the East China Sea and the South China Sea by force. Japan and the U.S. will conduct joint exercises in the future as well and strengthen cooperation with ASEAN. We will enhance defense cooperation with Australia, India, and the Philippines, in addition to South Korea.
Nakatani: Japan supports the U.S. Navy’s operations in the South China Sea.
Carter: This region should have open and free waters. Since dialogue is important, I will hold talks with Chinese Defense Minister Chang Wanquan during my stay in Kuala Lumpur.
Nakatani, Carter: In light of North Korea’s development of nuclear weapons, we confirm that our countries will closely cooperate [in dealing with the North Korea issue].
Realignment of U.S. bases in Okinawa
Nakatani, Cater: We reaffirm that the relocation of Futenma Air Station to Henoko is the only option for resolving the relocation issue.
Nakatani: I would like to ask for the early return of the part of the U.S. base that connects the West Futenma Housing Area and the national road.
Cater: We will do our best.
Nakatani, Cater: We will strive to reach an early agreement on talks on revising the Japan-U.S. Special Measures Agreement.