In the year of 2011, the Great East Japan Earthquake struck Tohoku region, the northern part of Japan. Taking this opportunity, I would like to express my sincere appreciation again for your great supports for this disaster such as dispatching rescue teams and search dogs, and providing water, food and radioactive protection goods.
Thanks to your supports, the restoration in the devastated areas has been developed step by step. In terms of economy, the effect of the “Abenomics,” which consists of what Prime Minister Abe called “three arrows”: bold monetary relaxation; flexible application of fiscal stimulus; and a growth strategy to spark private investment, gradually becomes visible in the rise of stock prices and increased tax revenue. Japanese economy has been on the rise.
The Japan-UK relationship traces back to the year of 1613 when Clove, a ship from the East India Company arrived in Japan for the first time.
Unfortunately, after that, Japan’s Isolationism policy had closed the door for our relation for about 200 years. It resumed when diplomatic relations between Japan and the UK was established in 1858. Then, at the dawn of The Meiji Restoration on our way to the modernized society, we learned a lot from the UK, including the military organizational structure.
Our first Prime Minister, Hirobumi Ito and Admiral Togo who defeated the Russian Baltic Vessel in the Russo-Japanese War both studied in the UK during their younger days and reflected their experiences to their great efforts later on.
The Anglo-Japanese Alliance, signed in 1902 and lasted for 20 years, really deepened our bilateral relationship not only in the military cooperation but also cultural exchanges. Then Japan went through the defeat in the World War II, but after Japan and the UK normalized the relations in 1951, both countries have been deepening our friendship again. Our current Crown Prince, His Imperial Highness Naruhito has also studied at Oxford University in 1980s, which I think shows our friendly relationship.
In 2013, which marked the 400th anniversary of Japan-UK relations, we saw drastic developments in the defense cooperation. Both governments concluded Japan-UK Information Security Protection Agreement and the framework agreement for the joint development of defense equipment. There have been frequent high level reciprocal visits between Japan and the UK. We are now working full-fledged on what kind of menus we are going to demonstrate.
Regarding myself, I have facilitated a conference on the opportunity of your CDS (Chief of Defense Staff) Houghton’s visit last month in Tokyo, following another conference also initiated by RUSI upon the presence of His Royal Highness Andrew last September.
My political goal is to keep Japan an exceptional world class country with national and personal independence. Robust efforts in the fields of defense, security, and education are indispensable to realize this goal.
Superb nation cannot be built without superb people. And education is what makes excellent talents. Our education standard is highly evaluated globally, and we will still take it to the higher level.
Education should be something that is to encourage people to get matured as an independent person and to have the pride for its own country. That is what I would like to materialize in educational field.
Now, I would like to move to today’s main subject, defense policy and cooperation, since I am here as Japan’s Parliamentary Vice-Minister of Defense in the Abe Cabinet.
A nation is only built on the robust root of defense, which leads to grow the thick trunk and bright leaves, and to make flowers bloom. Without its defense, a nation cannot exist. There are no first class nations which neglect its defense.
On the other hand, you cannot make your nation first class by only pursuing its defense. Then, what are the
requirements for a first class nation? You can pick up various indexes such as economy and culture, but I think you can be told as first class when you gain trust and respect among international community. And I believe you can gradually gain such trust and respect while you keep committed to the international society in a tangible manner as one of the stake holders.
In today’s global security environment, security threats such as WMDs and terrorism, and risks to the stable use of global commons such as ocean, outer space, and cyberspace have become higher. Under these circumstances, we have to cooperate with international society and play more proactive role for the peaceful and stable world. In other words, we should contribute more actively in the security aspect. This is Abe Administration’s policy of the “Proactive Contribution for Peace based upon the principle of international cooperation.”
Japan Self Defense Forces conducted the relief operation with the strength of 1,200 personnel, the largest number ever, to the Philippines devastated by the Typhoon Haiyan last November. Also, JSDF aircraft conducted the search operation for the missing Malaysia jetliner last March and April. These operations are in accordance with the policy of Proactive Contribution for Peace.
“Proactive Contribution for Peace based upon the principle of the international cooperation” is the fundamental concept of our National Security Strategy, which was drafted for the first time by the Government of Japan last year. Also, based upon the NSS, our government also drafted the new National Defense Program Guidelines and Mid-Term Defense Program last year. So to speak, the last year opened a new page in our security and defense policy.
Under the concept of “Proactive Contribution for Peace,” the NSS has set the fundamental principle of national security which is to achieve the security of Japan as well as peace and stability in the Asia-Pacific region, and to contribute even more proactively in securing peace, stability and prosperity of the international community.
In the new Defense Guidelines, we’re proposing the idea of “Dynamic Joint Defense Force” as the defense force we need to build.
As you can see the nuclear and missile development by North Korea and the rapid expansion and intensification of Chinese activities in waters and airspace, the security environment surrounding Japan has been more severe, while the number of situations that require the SDF responses increases and the periods of operations are prolonged. The concept of “Dynamic Joint Defense Force” is that, given the situations I mentioned just before, we aims at more effective defense posture, by securing necessary and sufficient quality and quantity of defense forces which support operations and by using joint operations thoroughly, to be able to conduct a diverse range of activities seamlessly as well as flexibly.
In this April, based upon the NSS, the Government of Japan approved the “Three Principles on Transfer of Defense Equipment and Technology” as a replacement of so-called “Three Principles on Arms Exports”. The new principles are one of the examples which may materialize our fundamental idea of national security, that is, “Proactive Contribution for Peace.”
The new principles further clarify the concrete criteria, procedure and restraint on the transfer of the defense equipment in a transparent manner, with maintaining the basic philosophy as a peace-loving nation which conforms to the UN Charter and the course it has taken as a peace-loving nation.
Under these principles, with the appropriate overseas transfer of defense equipment and technology, we would like to further contribute to the peace and international cooperation
Also, through active promotion of defense equipment and technology cooperation with partner countries, we would like to proactively promote necessary measures to maintain regional peace and stability and defend our own country.
Next, I would like to say a few words about the right of collective self-defense in the new security environment. In order to maintain peace and security, we will study and discuss between the government and the ruling parties how our legal framework should be, including the right of collective self-defense.
However, it should be noted that Prime Minister Abe has expressed his view that “Japan must never wage a war again. This is my conviction based on the severe remorse for the past. I have also made a pledge that we must build an age which is free from the sufferings by the devastation of war, Japan must be a country which joins hands with friends in Asia and friends around the world to realize peace of the entire world.”
In any case, I would like to emphasize that our stance has never been changed which aims at our own defense and peace and stability in the region as well as international society, cooperating with relevant countries.
As such, the Abe administration is promoting various measures in defense and security field. However, it is impossible to accomplish something above its capability within its limited budget. Also, it is obviously extremely difficult to deal with international security challenges by acting alone.
Then, what becomes important is security cooperation with relevant countries. In order to deal with regional and global security challenges and secure our security and prosperity, Japanese Government needs to develop multi-lateral and bilateral cooperation and exchanges, with the continuous Japan-US Alliance. Among them, we feel Japan-UK cooperation is extremely important.
Both Japan and the UK are allied with the United States respectively, and are sharing fundamental values such as the democracy, which gives us common grounds to gain same understandings to deal with various security challenges. As I mentioned earlier, the two countries have the long history of relationship. Furthermore, we have a lot in common. For example, we both have Imperial or Royal Family and we are both maritime nation. Above all, the UK is the great power which has huge global influence. At the same time, I take pride in Japan, which has strong economy, high technology standard, and valuable national character, that is, sincerity and respect for trust.
There is a robust relationship between Japan and US based on the alliance. So is between the UK and US. Now, it is time to strengthen Trans-Eurasia relationship, which means Japan-UK relationship, in addition to Trans-Pacific (Japan-US) and Trans-Atlantic (UK-US) ones. I think the Trans-Eurasia relationship, which can also deepen Japan-UK-US trilateral partnership, is indispensable under current security environment with lots of global challenges.
It may not widely be known that our defense cooperation has already been developing at various levels. A clear example is seen in the operational field such as disaster relief operations. As I mentioned earlier, in responding to the disaster in the Philippines caused by the Typhoon Haiyan last November, UK aircraft career HMS Illustrious and Japanese Maritime Self Defense Force Escort ship Ise mutually dispatched liaison officers in an expeditious manner, which facilitated the rescue operation.
Until very recently, both countries also conducted the search operation for a missing Malaysia jetliner.
In addition, Japan and the UK have also been involved in the anti-piracy operation off the coast of Somalia and in the Gulf of Aden as well as the peace keeping operation in South Sudan. It is quite natural to see that Japan and the UK, two friendly maritime countries, are engaged in the anti-piracy operation together.
You can also see the Japan-UK cooperation getting into action in the field of defense equipment and technology. July last year, both governments signed the framework on the joint development of defense equipment and as the first specific case, Japan-UK joint study on the bio-chemical technology for protection gear has started. Now, discussions to form next cooperation cases have been frequently made at the working level. We would like to keep our discussion to find possible areas of cooperation.
Do you feel that Japan is far away from the UK? In terms of actual distance, the answer is yes. But cyber security issue doesn’t make me think so. If Japan got cyber-attacks and its information infrastructure got paralyzed, serious impacts would be simultaneously spread around the world including the UK, and vice versa. Stable and effective use of cyberspace is a new challenge that both countries are facing. Therefore, there is a huge potential for cooperation in this field.
I understand that your government has been getting actively involved in the efforts in the cyber field, such as by hosting the London Conference regarding
cyberspace three years ago.
It is important to respond in the unified format at the government level, and Japanese Government has been promoting efforts at inter-ministries/agencies level with the Cabinet Secretariat playing a central role.
In September 2012, JMOD (Japan Ministry of Defense) drafted cyberspace policy guideline.
We have been conducted comprehensive consideration at the “Cyber Policy Committee” to improve MOD/SDF capabilities against cyber-attacks. In this March, we established Cyber Defense Unit. With the Cyber Defense Unit being a center-piece, we are going to enhance our capabilities including human resource development and build-up of training environment.
Regarding Japan-UK cyber cooperation, the 1st Japan-UK Cyber Dialog was held in June 2012, and we discuss our efforts on cyber security widely among relevant ministries and agencies, including the issue of international norms. Defense authorities of the two countries are also holding meetings and discussions on the way ahead. We would like to keep the efforts to strengthen our cooperation in
the cyber field.
Besides, there is another global security issue that cannot be left behind, which is outer space. The significance of the use of outer space has been increasing in the view of strengthening information collection and ISR, and securing communication tools.
On the other hand, there are risks which could hinder sustainable and stable use of outer space such as the increase of space debris and development of ASAT weapons.
JMOD would like to accelerate our efforts to secure the stable use of outer space in addition to improving the capability of C4ISR through continuous utilization of artificial satellite.
We would like to keep making our efforts to consider and find the possibility on Japan-UK cooperation in this space field.
In order to deal with global security challenges, our bilateral cooperation fields and common areas of activity will be further expanded. I’m certain that Japan-UK strategic cooperation to overcome global security challenges such as international peace cooperation, counter-terrorism, anti-piracy, and cyber security will bring benefit not only to our countries but to entire international society.
As you are all aware of, after the Japan-UK Prime Ministerial Summit, the Japan-UK Joint Statement was announced yesterday. In the security field, we decided to develop a comprehensive framework for our future collaboration including negotiation on the ACSA, Acquisition and Cross Servicing Agreement. I think the announcement, released when Japan and the UK just started the new step after celebrating 400th anniversary of the relationship last year, represents the bright future of Japan-UK relations.
In order to strengthen our evolving strategic partnership toward the new era, I am determined to promote our relations further through expanding our defense cooperation and exchanges at the wide range of levels. I will contribute myself to the global peace and stability with you.
Last but not least, I would like to thank everyone present here again and should you like to place an easy portal to Japanese security and defense, please feel free to utilize me for information, assistance, thoughts, suggestions and others.
Thank you very much for your attention.