Japan, U.S. navy chiefs reaffirm close defense cooperation

Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) Adm. Mike Gilday met virtually with Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF) Chief of Staff Adm. Hiroshi Yamamura, March 17.

During the video conference, the two addressed common challenges and discussed strategies to keep the seas open and free.

“Today’s maritime challenges emphasize the importance of interoperability with our partner nations,” said Gilday. “The alliance between Japan and the United States is the cornerstone of peace and stability in the Indo-Pacific. Together, we will continue to work to keep the maritime commons open and free.”

According to Gilday, meetings like this reaffirm the special relationship between the two navies and allow for continued collaboration and cooperation.

“The JMSDF and U.S navies agreed to further strengthen relationships to realize a ‘Free and Open Indo-Pacific,’ and recognized the unique strength of navies to continue defense cooperation in a contactless manner even during a pandemic,” said Yamamura.

Gilday expressed condolences for the recent earthquake off the coast of Fukushima. He told Yamamura that the U.S. Navy stands with the people of Japan, as the U.S. Navy did, following the earthquake in 2011.

The JMSDF and U.S. navies operate together regularly in the Indo-Pacific region and around the globe. Most recently, U.S. and JMSDF navies conducted anti-submarine warfare (ASW) torpedo training in Tokyo Bay.

Gilday and Yamamura have met numerous times during their tenures.

Photo credit: iStock/ ziggy_mars.  Military port in Kure, Hiroshima, Japan.

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