Defense Secretary Ash Carter met with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe today in Tokyo in advance of the prime minister's visit to Washington later this month, according to a Defense Department statement issued today.
The two leaders reaffirmed the strength of the U.S.-Japan alliance and the importance of its contributions to peace and security both in the Asia-Pacific region and around the globe, according to the statement.
They agreed that the revision of the Guidelines for U.S.-Japan Defense Cooperation is a historic moment for the U.S.-Japan Alliance, the statement said, opening new opportunities for security and defense cooperation, including on issues like responding to pandemic health crises and providing humanitarian assistance and disaster relief around the world.
The prime minister assured Carter of Japan's continued support of the bilateral realignment of U.S. forces in Japan, the statement said, including the Futenma Replacement Facility.
Carter and Abe also shared perspectives on the regional security situation, according to the statement.