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NEWS | Dec. 13, 2023

Readout of Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III's Call With Japanese Minister of Defense Kihara Minoru

U.S. Department of Defense

Pentagon Press Secretary Maj. Gen. Pat Ryder provided the following readout:

Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III held a call today with Japan's Minister of Defense Kihara Minoru. Secretary Austin thanked Minister Kihara for Japan's support in search and recovery operations following the tragic CV-22 incident off the coast of Japan. The two leaders spoke about the Department's decision to direct an operational standdown of the V-22 fleet. Secretary Austin reaffirmed that the Department views the safety of U.S. servicemembers and Japanese communities as our top priority.

The two leaders applauded progress on accelerating U.S.-Japan-ROK trilateral security cooperation and welcomed continued dialogue on strengthening extended deterrence. Secretary Austin and Minister Kihara committed to further cooperation on U.S.-Japan alliance priorities to promote a shared vision for a free and open Indo-Pacific. They also exchanged views on maritime security in the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden, and the Secretary affirmed his commitment to working with Japan to uphold the freedom of navigation and ensure maritime security.