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NEWS | Sept. 6, 2023

USSTRATCOM Commander Gen. Anthony Cotton visits Japan First overseas visit demonstrates ironclad commitment to allies

By Yasuo Osakabe, 374th Airlift Wing Public Affairs

Gen. Anthony J. Cotton, commander, U.S. Strategic Command (USSTRATCOM), held several key engagements with senior leaders in Japan, Sept. 1-4, as part of his first visit to the Western Pacific since becoming the USSTRATCOM commander. The visit was preceded by a visit to the Republic of Korea (ROK) August 29-31.

During his visit, Gen. Cotton met with Japan Self-Defense Force Chief of Staff Gen. Yoshihide Yoshida and also visited Japanese Foreign Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi and Defense Minister Yasukazu Hamada to discuss strategic deterrence and regional security.

“I think, foundationally, as commander of Strategic Command, I want to be able to display the extended deterrence that we offer to our allies, in particular Korea and Japan,”said Cotton. “I think there is no better way of doing that than personally coming in and speaking to senior leaders in both the Republic of Korea and Japan.”

Gen. Cotton’s visit and engagements demonstrate the commitment of the United States to key regional allies and partners over U.S. extended deterrence.

“Having the commander of USSTRATCOM in Tokyo means ensuring our allies and partners that we have the resolve to show extended deterrence, show how that links into integrated deterrence, show the relationship that I have with General LaCamera, commander U.S. Forces Korea, and see what we do with U.S. Forces Japan, and even more so with my partner, Admiral Aquilino of Indo-Pacific Command.”

While visiting the Japanese Ministry of Defense, Gen. Cotton laid a wreath at a memorial to fallen Japan Self Defense Force (SDF) members and jointly conducted a review of the SDF’s ceremonial honor guard.

Cotton’s visits to ROK and Japan built upon visits to the STRATCOM headquarters by ROK Chairman of the Joint Chiefs Gen. Kim Seung-Kyum and Japan Chairman of the Joint Staff Gen. Yoshida in 2022 and 2023, respectively.

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