Japan, U.S. defense officials discuss security environment

The Defense Ministry has announced that Gen. Koji Yamazaki, chief of staff of the Self-Defense Forces’ Joint Staff, held talks with his U.S. military counterpart, Gen. Mark Milley, in Hawaii on Wednesday.

According to the ministry, the two senior leaders “shared their situational awareness of the current security environments including a series of ballistic missile launches by North Korea and Russia’s aggression against Ukraine.” They also exchanged their views on initiatives to further strengthen Japan-U.S. cooperation.

At the meeting, the leaders “reaffirmed the ironclad commitment to defend Japan and agreed to strengthen their deterrence and response capabilities.”

On Thursday, Yamazaki and Milley held a trilateral meeting with their counterpart from South Korea, discussing the security environment on the Korean Peninsula. The ministry said that the three leaders “shared common understanding of the significance of enhancing regional security through close trilateral cooperation and coordination.”