Japan hosted the Government of the United States for an Extended Deterrence Dialogue (EDD) in Japan on December 5-7, 2023.  The United States and Japan established the EDD in 2010 as an enduring venue to discuss ways to sustain and strengthen extended deterrence, which is at the core of the Japan-U.S. Alliance.  The Japanese side was co-chaired by Mr. Miyamoto  Shingo, Deputy Director-General, North American Affairs Bureau, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and Mr. Ando Atsushi, Deputy Director-General, Defense Policy Bureau, Ministry of Defense.  The U.S. side was co-chaired by Ms. Alexandra Bell, Deputy Assistant Secretary for the Bureau of Arms Control, Deterrence, and Stability, Department of State, and Mr. Richard Johnson, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Nuclear and Countering Weapons of Mass Destruction Policy, Office of the Secretary of Defense, Department of Defense.  The delegations included participants from divisions of both sides in charge of security policy and arms control, as well as from JSDF, USSTRATCOM, USINDOPACOM, and U.S. Forces Japan.

Both sides concurred that it is necessary to continue strengthening deterrence and response capabilities of the Japan-U.S. alliance, amidst an increasingly challenging regional security environment, which is illustrated by repeated launches of ballistic missiles by the DPRK and the enhanced military cooperation between Russia and the People’s Republic of China as well as cooperation between Russia and the DPRK.  This dialogue strengthens U.S. extended deterrence, as outlined in the U.S. 2022 Nuclear Posture Review.  The Japanese side stated that they would like to continue to enhance U.S. extended deterrence, bolstered by Japan’s capabilities, through this dialogue.  The U.S. side reiterated its commitment to the defense of Japan under the Treaty of Mutual Cooperation and Security, and emphasized the Alliance’s steady progress on integrated deterrence.

Japan and the United States held in-depth discussions on extended deterrence, exchanged views on efforts to further enhance these bilateral dialogues, and consulted on measures to further improve concrete bilateral cooperation.  The two sides shared assessments of the regional security environment, and reviewed Alliance conventional and U.S. nuclear capabilities contributing to regional deterrence and highlighted the importance of optimizing the Alliance’s force posture and activities to bolster deterrence effectiveness.  The two sides discussed strategic arms control and risk reduction approaches in response to nuclear risks that are becoming increasingly challenging and complex as diversification and expansion of regional actors’ nuclear arsenals are advancing.

The United States reiterated its commitment to enhance the regional deterrent effect of U.S. strategic assets.  The two sides will continue to explore avenues to deepen Alliance political, diplomatic, and defense cooperation through improved information sharing, training, and exercises, including the use of table-top exercises, to further prepare the Alliance to defend against potential attacks and deter nuclear use. Both sides also pledged to improve coordination and strengthen the Alliance’s capabilities and posture against adversary missile threats.

Furthermore, the two sides conducted a tabletop exercise, which has regularly been included in the EDD meeting agenda to discuss ways to coordinate Alliance deterrence efforts and crisis management.

The delegations visited Japan Ground Self-Defense Force’s Amphibious Rapid Deployment Brigade in Camp Ainoura and Sakibe, which plays an important role in defense and deterrence of the Southwestern Islands of Japan, and had a briefing on the Brigade’s mission and its capabilities in amphibious operations, and deepened common understandings on the importance of defense of the Southwestern Islands.

U.S. Department of State

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