The chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff welcomed his Japanese counterpart to the Pentagon Aug. 23 as part of ongoing efforts to strengthen military ties between both countries.
Army Gen. Martin E. Dempsey met with Gen. Shigeru Iwasaki, chief of joint staff for Japan Self Defense Forces, to discuss ways to further enhance the nations’ strategic and personal partnership in the Asia-Pacific region and beyond.
“Our partnership with Japan is historic, … very long and very enduring,” Dempsey said. “We’ve committed to each other that we will continue to improve and build on that partnership and make it even stronger.”
Dempsey said he first met Iwasaki, then chief of the air forces, during a visit to Tokyo in October, and the two men have since become “counterparts, peers and friends.”
“We came to an agreement to further cooperation with U.S. forces to deepen our understanding as we did in the past,” Iwasaki said after the meeting.
Dempsey said he and Iwasaki compared notes on topics from family to joint operations, including the significance of the U.S. deployment of tilt-rotor Osprey aircraft to Japan and associated safety measures.
“The Osprey is our next generation of tactical airlift, and so very important to our modernization efforts in our future,” Dempsey said. “We … want very much to assure the people of Okinawa, and Japanese people in general, that it will be safe to operate. We will continue to work hard to build confidence in the system – confidence that we have here.”
As aviation and maritime systems continue to evolve, Dempsey and Iwasaki said, they will seek avenues to expand an already solid military-to-military relationship in other domains, including cyberspace, land, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance.
“We’re not limiting ourselves to discussion about the maritime domain,” Dempsey said. “I think our relationship expands far beyond that, and, in fact, we’ve served together all across the world.”