Japanese Defense Minister Visits Headquarters of US Forces Japan

Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Tokyo – (PanOrient News)
The Japanese Defense Minister of Defense Takeshi Iwaya met with the commander of U.S. Forces Japan, Lt. Gen. Kevin Schneider, in a visit on Wednesday to Yokota Air Base, on the western side of Tokyo.

The two discussed how to continue to strengthen bilateral cooperation between Japan and the U.S. as the countries face a number of complex security issues in the Indo-Pacific region. They also reaffirmed the strength of the U.S.-Japan alliance and the importance of working together to keep the region free and open.

“I believe that Yokota Air Base is well and truly a symbol of our ironclad alliance,” said Defense Minister Iwaya to General Schneider. “I’d like to extend my heartfelt respect for your work as you have been dedicating yourself not only to the peace and stability in this country, but also the region on behalf of U.S. forces.”

For his part, Schneider said he was convinced that the alliance had “never been stronger” and that the strategic alignment of the two nations benefited the stability, security and strength of the entire region.

He also said that he was committed to maintaining the readiness of his forces through rigorous and realistic exercises and training, and that such readiness was needed to contend with the challenges the countries face.

Iwaya’s visit was his first to the headquarters of the U.S. Forces Japan since he assumed his position last fall.

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