Strengthening Security Cooperation for a Stable Indo-Pacific Region.
Japan and South Korea reached an agreement at the Shangri-La Dialogue security conference in Singapore to promptly resolve disputes surrounding previous military encounters, which have been impeding closer security cooperation. Yasukazu Hamada, Japan’s defense minister, held discussions with his South Korean counterpart, Lee Jong-sup, during this prominent Asian security conference.
Following their meeting, Hamada conveyed to reporters that they addressed outstanding issues and committed to expediting talks to prevent a recurrence of the 2018 radar incident. He emphasized the importance of maintaining robust communication channels with South Korea. Regarding the 2018 incident, South Korea refuted Japan’s claims that a South Korean destroyer had targeted its radar on a Japanese surveillance plane, resulting in strained relations between the two neighboring nations.
In response, Lee stated that they agreed to resolve the matter through working-level discussions, with a primary focus on developing preventive measures. The defense ministers jointly condemned North Korea’s recent unsuccessful satellite launch, deeming it a flagrant violation of UN Security Council resolutions that prohibit the use of ballistic missile technology. They underscored the imperative of enhanced security cooperation, both bilaterally and with the United States, their mutual ally, to address North Korea’s nuclear and missile threats and foster stability in the Indo-Pacific region.
Hamada further stressed the significance of promoting defense cooperation among Japan, South Korea, and the United States.