Japan, December 5-7, 2023
In a significant diplomatic stride, Japan played host to the Government of the United States for the Extended Deterrence Dialogue (EDD). The event, a cornerstone of the enduring Japan-U.S. Alliance, convened from December 5 to 7, 2023, with the aim of sustaining and fortifying extended deterrence—a pivotal element in the bilateral partnership.
Key Co-Chairs and Delegations
The Japanese side, led by Mr. Miyamoto Shingo and Mr. Ando Atsushi, co-chaired the dialogue, representing the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Defense, respectively. On the U.S. front, Ms. Alexandra Bell and Mr. Richard Johnson, deputy heads from the Department of State and the Department of Defense, spearheaded the discussions.
The dialogue involved representatives from key divisions on both sides, overseeing security policy, arms control, and military commands such as JSDF, USSTRATCOM, USINDOPACOM, and U.S. Forces Japan.
Reinforcing Deterrence in a Complex Security Landscape
Against the backdrop of escalating regional challenges, the dialogue emphasized the need to enhance deterrence and response capabilities within the Japan-U.S. alliance. The specter of ballistic missile launches by the DPRK and the growing military collaboration between Russia and China set the stage for a comprehensive evaluation of strategic priorities.
Shared Commitments and Integrated Deterrence
The U.S. commitment to the defense of Japan, rooted in the Treaty of Mutual Cooperation and Security, found reaffirmation. The dialogue underscored the steady progress on integrated deterrence strategies, aligning with the U.S. 2022 Nuclear Posture Review. Japan expressed its intent to bolster U.S. extended deterrence through a collaborative approach, leveraging its own capabilities.
In-Depth Discussions and Concrete Bilateral Cooperation
The heart of the dialogue lay in substantive discussions on extended deterrence, coupled with efforts to enhance bilateral dialogues and collaborative measures. Assessments of the regional security environment, a review of Alliance conventional and U.S. nuclear capabilities, and the optimization of force postures took center stage.
Strategic Arms Control and Regional Deterrence
As the nuclear landscape evolves, the dialogue delved into strategic arms control and risk reduction approaches. The complexity of nuclear risks posed by regional actors prompted both sides to explore avenues for deeper political, diplomatic, and defense cooperation. The commitment to enhancing the regional deterrent effect of U.S. strategic assets emerged as a strategic imperative.
Strengthening Capabilities and Crisis Management
The dialogue encapsulated a tabletop exercise, a recurrent feature in the EDD meeting agenda. It provided a platform to coordinate Alliance deterrence efforts and refine crisis management strategies. Additionally, visits to key defense installations, such as the Japan Ground Self-Defense Force’s Amphibious Rapid Deployment Brigade, showcased the practical aspects of defense and deterrence.
In essence, the U.S.-Japan Extended Deterrence Dialogue proved to be a vital forum for strategic alignment and collaborative planning in the face of evolving regional challenges. As both nations commit to deeper cooperation, the alliance stands fortified against emerging threats.