Japanese, U.S. Defense Strategies Share Similarities

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Acting Defense Secretary Patrick M. Shanahan hosted Japanese Defense Minister Takeshi Iwaya at the Pentagon to discuss the defense relationship between their countries.

Earlier in the day, the two defense leaders and their nations’ top diplomats — Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono and U.S. Secretary of State Michael Pompeo — participated in a “2-plus-2” meeting at the State Department.

The United States and Japan have shared goals in the Indo-Pacific region and are allies.

As an important partner, Japan participates with the United States and other partners in a number of bilateral and multilateral exercises including:


Keen Sword, a biennial exercise, the most recent being last year. The exercise includes fleets and air wings from both nations.

Yama Sakura, an annual exercise that also included the Australian army last year.

The Japan Self Defense Force, as Japan’s military is called, also participates in a number of other exercises, such as Balikatan, an annual U.S.-Philippine exercise.

The U.S.-Japan alliance was strengthened in 2015 through the release of the revised U.S.-Japan Defense Guidelines, which provide for new and expanded forms of security-oriented cooperation. Japan provides bases as well as financial and material support to U.S. forward-deployed forces, which are essential for maintaining stability in the region.

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