Japan and the United States agreed, at a meeting of the two countries’ defense ministers in Tokyo, yesterday, to enhance cooperation on North Korean missiles.
Japanese Defense Minister Yasukazu Hamada, in a joint press conference with his US counterpart Lloyd Austin after the meeting, condemned North Korea’s launch, on Wednesday, of a ballistic missile that Pyongyang claims is a satellite. Hamada said that Japan and the United States, in addition to South Korea, will unite to confront North Korea’s provocative actions, stressing the need to fully prepare for Pyongyang’s firing of more missiles. The US Secretary of Defense said, “The dangerous and destabilizing nuclear and missile programs of the isolated country threaten peace and stability in the region and violate international laws.”
According to the Japanese Kyodo news agency, Austin met separately with Japanese Foreign Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi and Defense Minister Yasukazu Hamada. Austin also met with Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida. Kyodo reported that the Japanese ministers and the US Secretary of Defense agreed in Tokyo to deepen cooperation between the two countries with South Korea and Australia, a day after North Korea failed to launch a satellite.