What is Japan-U.S. Defense Security Strategy Council?

The Japan-U.S. Defense Security Strategy Council was founded in 2002, and its first meeting was held at the Heritage Foundation in Washington, D.C. in April 2003. Its second meeting is scheduled for November 20-25.

Its secretariat says that the council is a panel that "brings together politicians, bureaucrats, and businesspeople for discussion of the Japan-U.S. alliance and security policy. It's like a security policy version of the Japan-U.S. Business Council which makes recommendations to the Japanese and U.S. governments and other organizations."

This council is composed of major Japanese and U.S. arms industry firms, politicians representing the special interests of the military industry, and the right-wing think-tank Heritage Foundation. Its members also include former U.S. Defense Secretary William Cohen and other former senior U.S. government officials. Japanese politicians on the panel include Liberal Democratic, Komei, New Conservative, and Democratic party members of the Diet who participate in the Parliamentary Council on National Security.

What is the aim of the 'Defense Strategy Council'?

The plan to establish the panel was put forward after the Japanese Self-Defense Forces were dispatched to the Indian Ocean in the autumn of 2001. A secret document made in February 2002 by the preparatory committee stated that the aim of the Council is to "examine problems related to policies and military technology for Japan-U.S. security" and to "foster and improve the environment necessary for the implementation of results." Its themes for discussion and research include "examination of the Japan-U.S. security setup in the 21st century, the role of the Japan-U.S. alliance in the Asia-Pacific region and the division of labor concerning strategic functions between Japan and the United States, and improvement of the infrastructure of the defense industry and cooperation in defense technology including technology transfers and arms sales". (end)

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