Japanese, U.S. defense chiefs meet on enhancing security ties
• Japanese, U.S. defense chiefs held talks Sunday, centering on improving bilateral defense cooperation. • The two sides agreed to accelerate works related to revise Japan-U.S. defense cooperation guidelines. • Hagel also said that the United States will deploy two Aegis- equipped warships to Japan by 2017.
U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel (R) and Japanese Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera participate in a joint news conference at the Japanese Ministry of Defense headquarters in Tokyo, Japan, April 6, 2014. Japanese Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera on Sunday held talks here with visiting U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, centering on improving bilateral defense cooperation. (Xinhua/Ma Ping)
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TOKYO, April 6 (Xinhua) -- Japanese Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera on Sunday held talks here with visiting U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, centering on improving bilateral defense cooperation.
The two defense chiefs agreed to accelerate works related to revise Japan-U.S. defense cooperation guidelines for the first time in 17 years as Japan attempts to reinterpret its pacifist constitution in a move to exercise rights of collective self- defense.
Hagel hailed Japans engagement in the collective self-defense rights when he met with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Saturday, as well as Abes other moves on changing Japans defense stance.
As to the controversial issue of relocating the U.S. key Futenma airbase in Okinawa, Japans southernmost island prefecture, Hagel called for an early completion of a replacing facility for the airbase in Nago city, also in Okinawa.
The two defense chiefs also discussed reduction of burden on the island prefecture on holding a bulk of U.S. bases in Japan.
Hagel also said that the United States will deploy two Aegis- equipped warships to Japan by 2017 in an effort to help Japan defend missiles launched by the Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea.
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