WASHINGTON -- Pentagon Press Secretary John Kirby provided the following readout:
Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III spoke with Japanese Defense Minister Nobuo Kishi today, reiterating American commitment to the U.S.-Japan Alliance and emphasizing its importance to the peace and security of the Indo-Pacific region.
Secretary Austin and Minister Kishi discussed a broad range of security issues in the Indo-Pacific and exchanged views on ensuring the readiness of the Alliance despite the challenges posed by COVID-19. They also discussed the need to continue implementing U.S. force realignment initiatives including continued efforts regarding the construction of the Futenma Replacement Facility in Henoko.
Secretary Austin further affirmed that the Senkaku islands are covered by Article V of the U.S.-Japan Security Treaty, and that the United States remains opposed to any unilateral attempts to change the status quo in the East China Sea.
Minister Kishi congratulated Secretary Austin on his appointment as Secretary of Defense. Secretary Austin thanked Minister Kishi for Japan’s continued leadership in implementing United Nations Security Council Resolutions regarding North Korea and encouraged Minister Kishi to strengthen Japan’s contribution to the role the Alliance continues to play in providing security in the Indo-Pacific region.