U.S. Department of Defense
May 4, 2022

Austin, Japan’s Defense Minister Pledge to Defend Rules-Based Order

Kishi unequivocally emphasized that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine means that the Japanese can no longer separate the security of the Indo-Pacific from that of Europe.

Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III and Japanese Defense Minister Nobuo Kishi pledged to work together to defend the international rules-based architecture wherever it is threatened.
American and Japanese flag fly side-by-side against blue sky.

The treaty allies met at the Pentagon today, with the Japanese minister saying that since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February “the world has drastically changed.”

Kishi said the Russian attack on Ukraine and North Korea’s continuing launches of ballistic missiles are absolutely unacceptable.

“We are here because the U.S.-Japan alliance remains a cornerstone of peace and prosperity in the Indo-Pacific,” Austin said at the beginning of the meeting. “Our two countries are bound by…shared values.”

But those interests and values are under attack, the secretary said, and the United States and Japan must work closely together to counter the threats emanating from Russia, China and North Korea. “Russia’s baseless, and the reckless invasion of Ukraine is an affront to the rules-based international order, and it poses a challenge to free people everywhere,” he said.

Austin said Japan reiterated its commitment at last week’s meeting of defense ministers. Kishi attended the meeting of the Ukraine Security Consultative Group last week in Ramstein Air Base, Germany. “Your presence underscored Japan’s commitment to helping the Ukrainian people defend their sovereignty now and over the long haul,” Austin said.

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Kishi unequivocally emphasized that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine means that the Japanese can no longer separate the security of the Indo-Pacific from that of Europe.