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HOME  > Past issues  > 2007 May 9 - 15  > ‘Japan-NATO cooperation’ mentioned for the first time in Japan-U.S. statement
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2007 May 9 - 15 [SDF]

‘Japan-NATO cooperation’ mentioned for the first time in Japan-U.S. statement

May 10, 2007
The Japan-U.S. Security Consultative Committee joint statement issued on May 1 was the first Japan-U.S. joint document that mentioned “Japan-NATO cooperation.”

At a House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee meeting on May 9, Foreign Ministry North American Affairs Bureau Chief Nishimiya Shin’ichi admitted to this in reply to Japanese Communist Party representative Kasai Akira.

The joint statement by the Japanese and U.S. foreign and defense ministers (two-plus-two) stated, “Achieving broader Japan-NATO cooperation, recognizing that NATO’s global contributions to peace and security and the common strategic objectives of the U.S.-Japan Alliance are consistent and complementary.”

Criticizing the government, Kasai stated, “The joint statement declared the intention to expand the Japan-U.S. alliance’s sphere to a global scale by increasing ties with NATO.”

With respect to the joint statement’s description that NATO and the U.S.-Japan alliance are “complementary,” Foreign Minister Aso Taro referred to the Maritime Self-Defense Force’s refueling of foreign warships in the Indian Ocean as a specific example.

Citing Defense Minister Kyuma Fumio’s commitment to consider SDF activities in Afghanistan that he made in his talks with the NATO secretary general, Kasai stated, “The ‘two-plus-two’ joint statement brings about a serious problem in that it leads to the exercise of the right of collective self-defense by promoting the SDF’s overseas dispatches in cooperation through military alliances.”

The Japanese and U.S. foreign and defense ministers also reached a substantive agreement on the General Security of Military Information Agreement (GSOMIA).

Defense Ministry Defense Policy Bureau chief Ofuru Kazuo said, “Japan and the U.S. have discussed concluding the GSOMIA since around 1980,” but he refused to explain why they agreed on it now on the grounds that the matter is still under negotiation.

Kasai criticized the government for pushing ahead with the pact, stating, “This pact is nothing but an instrument of veiling the move toward waging wars abroad with the U.S. and suppressing the public’s right to know.”
- Akahata, May 10, 2007
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