The two governments also agreed to install U.S.-provided space situational awareness (SSA) payloads on Japan’s satellite system, further advancing bilateral cooperation in space.

The U.S.-Japan Security Consultative Committee was convened for the first time since August 2017.

Foreign Minister Taro Kono, Defense Minister Takeshi Iwaya, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Acting U.S. Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan attended the meeting.

The joint statement said that the ministers recognized that such new domains as space and cyberspace are “priority areas” that the Japan-U.S. alliance should prepare for.

It also stipulated that “a cyber-attack could, in certain circumstances, constitute an armed attack for the purposes of Article 5 of the U.S.-Japan Security Treaty,” indicating the possibility that the U.S. military would counter a cyber-attack against Japan.

Regarding Japan-U.S. cooperation in the field of outer space, the ministers decided to install an SSA monitoring sensor operated by the United States on a quasi-zenith satellite system that Japan plans to launch.

The move is aimed at monitoring movements of military satellites operated by China and Russia as well as space debris among other objects that could damage satellites.

In regard to North Korean issues, the ministers concurred on working toward realizing denuclearization in a complete, verifiable and irreversible manner and also confirmed further cooperation to resolve the abduction issue of Japanese nationals.

The latest joint statement did not include “continuing to pressure North Korea,” wording added to the statements released following the previous security talks.

Friday’s talks also covered the relocation plans for U.S. military facilities in Japan.

The U.S. side expressed appreciation for Japan’s efforts to acquire Mageshima island in Nishinoomote, Kagoshima Prefecture, as a planned site for field carrier landing practice for U.S. carrier-based aircraft after it is relocated from Iwoto island, part of Tokyo.

Regarding the relocation of the U.S. Marine Corps’ Futenma Air Station in Ginowan, Okinawa Prefecture, to the Henoko district of Nago also in the prefecture, the ministers “underscored their strong determination to achieve its completion as soon as possible.”

At the joint press conference after the talks, Shanahan said he appreciated Japan’s decision to exclude products made by corporations feared to have security-related concerns, with Chinese telecommunications equipment giant Huawei Technologies Co. in mind, in regard to the 5G next-generation communications standard.

This article is written by Tomomi Asano and Michitaka Kaiya from The Japan News, Tokyo / Asia News Network and was legally licensed via the Tribune Content Agency through the NewsCred publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to legal@newscred.com.

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© Copyright 2019 The Japan News, Tokyo / Asia News Network. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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