Japan, Us To Boost Space, Cyber - Security Ties

Japan, US to boost space, cyber-security ties

Japan and the US have agreed to boost cooperation in the fields of cyber-security and outer space.

Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono and Defense Minister Takeshi Iwaya met US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and acting Secretary of Defense Patrick Shanahan in Washington on Friday.

The so-called two-plus-two talks come as China rapidly builds up its military. Russia has also increased its military activities.

The officials confirmed for the first time that there will be cases when the two countries regard serious cyber-attacks on Japan as armed attacks, and jointly respond under Article 5 of the Japan-US security treaty.

The article obligates the US to defend Japan.
The officials also agreed to strengthen monitoring of outer space by mounting US sensors onto Japanese satellites.

They shared serious concerns about China's increased maritime activities in the East and South China seas.

The officials agreed to maintain sanctions on North Korea until the country denuclearizes.

They also discussed the plan to relocate the US Marine Corps Futenma Air Station within Okinawa.

They agreed that moving the base to the Henoko district of Nago City is the only solution. They said they will cooperate to realize an early return of the land occupied by the Futenma base to Japan.

The Japanese ministers asked the US for efforts to prevent crimes and accidents involving US military personnel in Japan.

The officials discussed the recent crash of an Air Self-Defense Force F-35A fighter jet off northern Japan. They confirmed their countries will cooperate in search operations and investigate the cause.

The aircraft was developed by the United States and several other countries.

At a joint news conference, Pompeo said he intends to stay involved in talks with Pyongyang. A senior North Korean official recently demanded Pompeo be replaced as a negotiator.

Pompeo also referred to the issue of Japanese nationals abducted by North Korea. He said President Donald Trump brought up the matter during both of his meetings with the North's leader Kim Jong Un.

Pompeo said he believes Kim was already aware of the abduction issue before the summits. He added that the US intends to discuss it at any future summits with North Korea.

Iwaya said Japan and the US can deter any threat and cope with any circumstances through close cooperation. He added that Japan will work to further strengthen its alliance with the US, based on Friday's talks.