Japan and the United States (US) signed a new set of defence agreements on 27 April 2015 that allow for greater co-operation between their militaries. Both the countries have revised their defence deal after 18 years to deal with growing global security concern.
The agreement was signed by the US Secretary of State, John Kerry, and Defense Secretary, Ashton Carter, and the Japanese Foreign Minister, Fumio Kishida, and Defense Minister, Gen Nakatani.
The agreement in the form of new guidelines was released at the start of an official visit to the US by Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.
The guidelines allow for global cooperation militarily, ranging from defence against ballistic missile, cyber and space attacks as well as maritime security.
It also allows the exercise of the right to collective self-defence, that is, Japan could shoot down missiles heading toward the United States and come to the aid of third countries under attack.
The new guidelines would also allow the US and Japanese militaries to work more closely together in the event of a conflict in the East China Sea or in North Korea.
Further, it removed the constraints of geography, as a result, the US-Japan cooperation had moved from focus on local issues to global issues.
The revised guidelines need the reinterpretation of the constitution of Japan. The new defense guidelines are part of Abe’s bid to soften Japan’s constitutional commitment to pacifism.
The US and Japan established defence guidelines in 1978, at the height of the Cold War, and in 1997, when China’s military build-up was still in its infancy. The new guidelines are the first to reflect China’s greater military heft and push for influence in the region.
When: 27 April 2015