On August 17, 2017, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Secretary of Defense James Mattis hosted Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono and Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera for a Security Consultative Committee (“2+2”) meeting at the Department of State.
The meeting focused on how the United States and Japan can coordinate their response to the evolving regional security environment, and strengthen their bilateral security and defense cooperation.
In remarks at a press availability following the meeting, Secretary Tillerson stated, “The United States and Japan will continue our shared resolve to protect our citizens and work for security and stability in northeast Asia. Our conversations today reaffirmed that we are stronger and more secure when we work together, and we will continue that course of action.”
Secretary Tillerson took a moment to share topics discussed in the meeting, noting a fair amount of time was spent focused on North Korea. The Secretary said, “North Korea’s recent intercontinental ballistic missile and other missile launches are unacceptable provocations, and they must stop immediately. We agreed to bolster our alliance capabilities to deter and respond to North Korea’s unacceptable behavior and other challenges to regional security. In cooperation with other nations, we will continue to employ diplomatic and economic pressure to convince North Korea to end its illegal nuclear and ballistic missile program.”
Secretary Tillerson also noted that during the meeting our two nations discussed our concern about the security environment in the East China Sea and South China Sea as well as reviewed the continued realignment of U.S. armed forces in Japan.
The U.S.-Japan Security Consultative Committee (“2+2”) is the premier forum for discussing issues related to the U.S.-Japan Mutual Cooperation and Security Treaty, including U.S. bases in Japan and Japanese Host Nation Support, as well as regional security issues.
For more information:
- Secretary Tillerson’s remarks With Secretary of Defense James Mattis, Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono, and Japanese Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera at a Press Availability
- Joint Statement of the Security Consultative Committee
- DipNote Blog: U.S. engagement in East Asia and the Pacific region
- U.S.-Japan Relations