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HOME  > Past issues  > 2007 April 25 - May 8  > Japanese and U.S. ministers agree on intelligence cooperation to enable Japan to wage wars together with the U.S.
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2007 April 25 - May 8 [POLITICS]

Japanese and U.S. ministers agree on intelligence cooperation to enable Japan to wage wars together with the U.S.

May 2, 2007
The U.S.-Japan Security Consultative Committee meeting was held in Washington on May 1 in which Foreign Minister Aso Taro, Defense Minister Kyuma Fumio, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, and Secretary of Defense Robert Gates took part. This “two-plus-two” meeting issued a joint statement that reviewed the implementation of the bilateral agreements on the realignment of U.S. forces in Japan and the deployment of Missile Defense.

The joint statement poses a grave problem by adopting, in particular, measures for sharing and protecting military information in order to upgrade the military integration of Japan and the U.S.

Denouncing the North Korean nuclear test, the joint statement put forward the notion of “extended deterrence” to increase the U.S. nuclear capability. It reaffirmed that the U.S. nuclear and non-nuclear strike forces “support U.S. commitments to the defense of Japan.”

“In this context, the SCC members emphasized the need to expand and deepen bilateral intelligence cooperation and information sharing. They also decided to strengthen the mechanisms to protect classified materials,” the joint statement declared.

As a specific measure, it attached importance to the conclusion of the General Security of Military Information Agreement (GSOMIA). “The GSOMIA will facilitate information exchange and establish a common basis of information security contributing to sharing of intelligence and defense program and operational information,” it stated.

Under the GSOMIA, heavy punishments comparable to that of the U.S. -- including the death penalty -- could be imposed in order to prevent any leak of military secrets provided by the U.S. This could apply not only to government officials but Dietmembers critical of government war policies and the general public as well.

The statement also declared that the two sides will “establish a comprehensive information-sharing roadmap” in order to smoothly implement the deployment of the Missile Defense system.

Sharing highly sensitive military information with the U.S. will enable Japan in effect to exercise the right of collective self-defense and engage in joint operations abroad.

By emphasizing the importance of military information protection, the “two-plus-two” meeting further accelerates the process of turning Japan into a nation ready to fighting wars abroad with the U.S. - Akahata, May 2, 2007
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