2002 December 21 Saturday
US and Japan Cooperating on Missile Defense Tech

See the following excerpts of the joint statement of the U.S.-Japan Security Consultative Committee released December 16, 2002. The bullet point on North Korea is followed immediately by an affirmation of continued cooperation in the development of ballistic missile defense technologies.

1. United States Secretary of State Colin Powell and Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz hosted Japan's Minister for Foreign Affairs Yoriko Kawaguchi and Minister of State for Defense and Director-General of the Defense Agency Shigeru Ishiba in a meeting of the Security Consultative Committee (SCC) in Washington, DC, on December 16, 2002. They addressed security and alliance issues facing the U.S. and Japan in the new security environment after the terrorist attacks in the U.S. on September 11, 2001, as well as other aspects of the relationship.

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6. The Ministers expressed grave concern about the threat North Korea continues to pose to regional security and stability. The Ministers expressed great regret over North Korea's recent letter to the IAEA and public statement that it plans to resume the operation and construction of nuclear facilities, and agreed the North Korean decision flagrantly disregards the international consensus that the North Korean regime must fulfill all its commitments and, in particular, dismantle its nuclear weapons program. The Ministers also agreed that North Korea's pursuit of a nuclear weapons capability violates the Agreed Framework, the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty, its IAEA Safeguards Agreement, and the South-North Joint Declaration on the Denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula. The Ministers stressed that the international community has made it clear that North Koreaís relations with the outside world will hinge on its willingness to dismantle its nuclear weapons program. The Ministers urged North Korea to give up any nuclear weapons program in a prompt and verifiable fashion in order to be in compliance with all of its international obligations. They also expressed serious concern over North Korea's ballistic missile programs and urged North Korea to cease all ballistic missile-related activities, including the development, testing, exportation, and deployment of ballistic missiles and related technology and know-how. The Ministers also urged North Korea's full compliance with the Biological Weapons Convention and adherence to the Chemical Weapons Convention. The Ministers stressed that North Korean use of weapons of mass destruction, such as nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons, would have the gravest consequences.

Reaffirming their commitments under the U.S.-Japan Security Treaty, they reiterated their strong interest in a peaceful resolution of security issues associated with North Korea. The U.S. side reaffirmed that the U. S. has always been open to dialogue in principle. The Ministers also reaffirmed that the Japan-North Korea normalization talks and the Japan-North Korea security talks, based on the Pyongyang Declaration between Japan and North Korea, serve as important channels to resolve security issues and the abduction issue. The Ministers called for the expeditious resolution of such issues.

7. Based on the shared recognition of the growing threat posed by the proliferation of ballistic missiles, the two sides emphasized the need for a comprehensive strategy to address such proliferation, including both defense systems and diplomatic initiatives.

The Japanese side reaffirmed that a ballistic missile defense system is an important consideration in Japanís defense policy, which is exclusively defense-oriented. The Japanese side noted that a ballistic missile defense system would be an inherently defensive capability to which there would be no alternative, with the purpose of protecting lives and property in Japan. The Japanese side also expressed its intention to address this subject on its own initiative during review of its defense posture, based on the rapidly evolving state of technological developments relating to all elements of the ballistic missile defense program.

The Ministers acknowledged the need to continue current U.S.-Japan cooperative research on ballistic missile defense technologies and to intensify consultation and cooperation on missile defense.

There are on-going developments and cooperation between nations that do not get much attention in the press but which speak volumes about the consensus of the leaders of various nations. The Japanese leaders do not want to be vulnerable to a nuclear ballistic missile attack by North Korea. In light of recent developments in North Korea it seems reasonable to expect Japan to increase its funding for ballistic missile defense research and development.

Share |      By Randall Parker at 2002 December 21 09:37 PM  Politics Grand Strategy


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