Kishi, Esper Affirm Missile Defense Cooperation

Politics

Tokyo, Oct. 7 (Jiji Press)--Japanese Defense Minister Nobuo Kishi and U.S. Defense Secretary Mark Esper, in their first phone talks on Wednesday, agreed that the two countries will cooperate closely in efforts to build a new missile defense system for Japan.

Kishi, who took office on Sept. 16 under the administration of new Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga, explained to Esper how work is progressing on considering the alternative to Japan's scrapped Aegis Ashore land-based missile defense system.

The two also exchanged opinions on issues in the Indo-Pacific region, covering nations such as China and North Korea. They agreed that Japan and the United States will work together to implement U.S. forces realignment initiatives, including the plan to relocate the U.S. Marine Corps' Futenma air base in Ginowan, Okinawa Prefecture, to the Henoko coastal district in Nago, another city in the southernmost Japan prefecture.

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Jiji Press