Deputy Secretary of Defense Dr. Kathleen Hicks and Under Secretary of Defense for Policy Dr. Colin Kahl each met with Japanese Vice Minister of Defense Suzuki today at the Pentagon to discuss a range of bilateral issues, including U.S. and Japanese strategic reviews and investments in defense capabilities.
Vice Minister Suzuki provided an overview of Japan’s 2022 National Defense Strategy and Defense Buildup Program, both of which support our continuing bilateral efforts to modernize the Alliance, bolster integrated deterrence, and address evolving regional and global security challenges through cooperation with likeminded allies and partners.
The leaders also discussed a broad range of U.S. investments to enhance regional security and deterrence capabilities, which includes an historic Pacific Deterrence Initiative request in the Fiscal Year 2024 defense budget meant to improve air basing capabilities, missile defense architecture, construction for a more resilient force posture, and collaboration with Allies and partners. The Deputy Secretary also highlighted the largest-ever DoD investments into procurement, and research and development, per President Biden’s FY 2024 budget request – which will be critical to addressing the pacing challenge presented by China.
Deputy Secretary Hicks and Vice Minister Suzuki pledged their commitment to enhancing the U.S.-Japan Alliance through close collaboration to tackle shared security challenges.
USDP Kahl and Vice Minister Suzuki also discussed Alliance priorities following the successful U.S.-Japan Security Consultative Committee ministerial meeting this past January, including on modernizing Alliance roles, missions, and capabilities and deepening information-sharing.