Defense Secretary Dr. Mark T. Esper holds a news conference with Japan’s Defense Minister Taro Kono at the Pentagon, January 14, 2020.
Minister Kano, it is a pleasure to host you today as we honor the strong defense relationship between the United States and Japan. This Sunday we celebrate the 60th anniversary of the signing of the U.S.-Japan treaty of mutual cooperation and security. The agreement formalized our commitment to addressing shared security concerns on the basis of freedom and democracy. This year marks 60th anniversary of the signing of the Japan / U.S. security treaty. I am grateful that I had opportunity to visit Washington D.C. as Japanese defense minister and hold discussion with Secretary Esper on how to make our alliance even stronger at the beginning of this milestone year. Secretary and I just had a meeting. First we discussed the situation in the Middle East, including the recent developments in Iran. Secretary Esper explained the situation in the Middle East and how the U.S. forces are operating in the area. I responded “We will make persistent diplomatic efforts to ease the tension and stabilize the situation in the region.” I also explained the Cabinet decision made in December last year to send a self-defense force to the Middle East.