Defense

September 17, 2012

Panetta addresses Osprey, territory disputes in Japan visit

On a day that he began in Japan and is finishing in China, Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta responded to questions on the U.S. deployment of V-22 Osprey tilt-rotor aircraft to Okinawa and the ongoing dispute between China and Japan over the Senkaku Islands.

The Osprey has been a controversial topic since the aircraft was first shipped to Japan in July, and thousands of Japanese have in recent weeks protested the aircraft’s use there. Panetta said Sept. 17 during a news conference with Japanese Defense Minister Satoshi Morimoto that the two countries have established a joint committee to resolve any questions about the Osprey’s safety.

The committee has made “very positive progress,” the secretary said. “What we will do is rely on their agreement … to proceed,” he added.

Panetta said he and other defense leaders will “do everything possible to try to assure the people involved here that the operations are safe.” He added he looks forward to moving forward with Osprey operations on Okinawa soon.

During the news conference and while visiting troops at Yokota Air Base, Panetta responded to questions about the dispute over the Senkaku Islands – known in China as the Diaoyu Islands. Reports from China say anti-Japanese protests involving the issue have broken out in several major cities in recent days.

The United States, in all cases of disputed territory involving Pacific waters, urges “calm and restraint on all sides,” the secretary said.

“United States policy with regards to these islands is well known, and obviously, we stand by our treaty obligations,” Panetta said. “But the United States, as a matter of policy, does not take a position with regards to competing sovereignty claims.”

It’s important that both sides in any dispute pursue diplomatic means to resolve differences, he added.

“These approaches have to based on clear principles – principles that relate to international rules and regulations and that have been consistently enunciated,” he said at the news conference. “It is in everybody’s interest for Japan and China to maintain good relations and to find a way to avoid further escalation.”

Later, Panetta expanded on this theme in response to a service member’s question during his talk with troops at Yokota Air Base immediately before he left for Beijing.

“The reason this is happening is because a lot of these countries look to these islands, look to the resources that are out there, look to offshore drilling, look to energy resources,” he said. “And so it’s going to become more competitive between countries as they face this issue.”

The U.S. stance, the secretary repeated, is to urge competing claimants to develop a process that will help them resolve such claims peacefully and according to international norms. The Association of Southeast Asian Nations has developed a code of conduct that can help to guide that development, he added.

“There is a danger that through provocation of one kind or another, we could have a blowup in any one of these issues,” he said. “And so it is the responsibility of those countries involved to try to resolve these issues peacefully.”

 




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 
Lockheed Martin photograph by Tom Reynolds

F-35B successfully completes wet runway, crosswind testing

Lockheed Martin photograph by Tom Reynolds F-35B aircraft BF-4, piloted by Lockheed Martin Test Pilot Dan Levin, starts down the runway as part of wet runway and crosswind testing at Edwards AFB, Calif. In an important program ...
 
 
Air Force photograph by MSgt. J. Wilcox

Tyndall AFB takes F-22 pilot training to next level

Air Force photograph by MSgt. J. Wilcox Two F-22 Raptors and a T-38 Talon from Tyndall Air Force Base, Florida, fly together during a 43rd Fighter Squadron Basic Course training mission Oct. 7, 2013 over Florida. A sortie begin...
 
 
Army photograph by David Vergun

Senior leaders explain Army’s drawdown plan

Army photograph by David Vergun No commander is happy when notified that a soldier from his or her command has been identified for early separation. But commanders personally notify those Soldiers and ensure participation in th...
 

 
Lockheed Martin photograph by Beth Groom

F-35 Rollout Marks U.S.-Australia Partnership Milestone

Lockheed Martin photograph by Beth Groom Royal Australian Air Force Air Marshal Geoff Brown delivers his remarks at the roll out ceremony for Australia’s first F-35. The official rollout of the first two F-35 Lightning II...
 
 
Air Force photograph by A1C Erin OĆ­Shea

U.S. Forces display military might at Farnborough

Air Force photograph by A1C Erin O’Shea Capt. Tom Meyers discusses the F-15E Strike Eagle’s capabilities with spectators July 17, 2014, at the Farnborough International Airshow in England. Public access was granted ...
 
 
raptors4

Raptors, Falcons fuel up in desert skies

Three U.S. Air Force F-22 Raptors assigned to the 325th Fighter Wing, Tyndall Air Force Base, Fla., fly alongside a KC-135 Stratotanker assigned to the 93rd Air Refueling Squadron, Fairchild AFB, Wash., during Red Flag 14-3, Ju...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>