The United States and Japan pledged to continue working together on missile defense, cyber and space initiatives, as well as expanding information-sharing and intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance activities.
"We have … agreed on a framework to transfer jointly produced missile defense interceptors to third parties, to deepen our cooperation on humanitarian assistance and disaster relief, and to start new initiatives in space and cybersecurity," U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates said during a June 21 briefing.
As for missile defense, the ministers decided to study future issues in preparation for transition to a production and deployment phase of the SM-3 Block 2A. The ministers designated the Joint Arms and Military Technology Commission as the consultation mechanism for such future third party transfers.
In addition, the ministers agreed to promote dialogue on the diversification of supplies of critical resources and materials, including energy and rare earths, which are abundant in the region.
"The ministers decided to expand joint training and exercises, study further joint and shared use of facilities and promote cooperation, such as expanding information sharing and joint intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) activities, in order to deter and respond proactively, rapidly and seamlessly to various situations in the region," according to a joint statement by the U.S.-Japan Security Consultative Committee.
The U.S. reaffirmed its pledge to defend Japan and the peace and security in the region through conventional and nuclear force.
The United States also pledged to "tailor [its] regional defense posture to address such challenges as the proliferation of nuclear technologies and theater ballistic missiles, anti-access/area denial capabilities, and other evolving threats, such as to outer space, to the high seas, and to cyberspace."
In space, the two countries acknowledged the potential for future cooperation in space situational awareness, a satellite navigation system, space-based maritime domain awareness and the utilization of dual-use sensors, according to the statement. The ministers also agreed to "promote the resilience of critical infrastructure, including the security of information and space systems."
The ministers also welcomed the establishment of a bilateral strategic policy dialogue on cybersecurity issues.
Many of the strategic agreements are related to recent activities by China and North Korea.
China has been developing anti-ship ballistic missiles that the U.S. views as a threat to its ships in international waters.
At the same time, North Korea has been developing strategic ballistic missiles.
In addition, much light has been shed on the need for space situational awareness in the wake of a Chinese anti-satellite test several years ago, which resulted in the creation of a large amount of space debris.