In a meeting Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Secretary of Defense James Mattis co-hosted with their Japanese counterparts, America’s top diplomat and senior military leader reaffirmed America’s “ironclad commitment” to the mutual defense of its allies in the Pacific.
Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono and Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera joined the two American officials at the Security Consultative Committee meeting in Washington D.C. on Thursday. Their discussion centered on finding ways to increase military coordination between the U.S. and Japan, amid an evolving regional security environment that includes the potential for war with North Korea. Many were concerned that the U.S. and Kim Jong-un’s regime were on the brink of war in recent weeks, thanks to a shift to a more aggressive tone in statements coming from President Trump’s administration. It would seem, however, that the tactic worked, in that North Korea’s Supreme Leader chose to shelve his plans for a missile test in the direction of Guam.
“We’ve completed warm and very productive, detailed conversations about the situation facing our nations, and we’ve achieved very highly useful results,” Mattis said about the morning’s meeting.
Chairman of the U.S.’s Joint Chiefs of Staff, Marine General Joseph Dunford doubled down on Mattis and Tillerson’s statements as he arrived in Japan to meet with the Chief of Staff of Japan’s Self-Defense Forces, Admiral Katsutoshi Kawano.