Today, the Honourable Harjit S. Sajjan, Minister of National Defence congratulated Minister KISHI Nobuo on his appointment as Japan’s Minister of Defense. The Ministers discussed regional security issues including North Korea, the East China Sea, and the South China Sea.
The Ministers underlined the importance of Canada’s ongoing Operation NEON maritime deployment to monitor the illicit maritime activities that are in contravention of the United Nations Security Council sanctions against North Korea. Both Ministers reiterated their commitment to the complete, verifiable, and irreversible dismantlement of all of North Korea’s weapons of mass destruction and ballistic missiles of all ranges.
Minister Sajjan and Minister Kishi highlighted the importance of all countries fully respecting international law as reflected in the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), including freedom of navigation and overflight.
The Ministers agreed to cooperate on combatting infectious diseases that could affect peace and security, and promote joint Canada-Japan efforts, including:
- Sharing lessons learned from Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief operations during the COVID-19 pandemic;
- Exploring new opportunities for cooperation in third countries in order to make them more resilient to the pandemic; and,
- Sharing information and exchanging views on reinforcing the rules-based international order, including working together to counter disinformation in the context of the COVID-19 global pandemic.
The Ministers committed to continued collaboration between the two countries and the robust promotion of bilateral defence cooperation and exchanges to advance our shared commitment to a free and open Indo-Pacific. Minister Sajjan concluded the call by extending an invitation to Minister Kishi to visit Canada when the global fight against COVID-19 has subsided.
“I would like to congratulate Mr. KISHI Nobuo on his appointment. Canada and Japan’s defence relationship has grown significantly in recent years and I look forward to working together closely. The shared value we place on multilateralism and the importance of the rules-based international order serve as the foundation to further strengthen the Canada-Japan relationship.”
The Honourable Harjit S. Sajjan, Minister of National Defence
The Royal Canadian Navy and the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force worked alongside each other during the Rim of the Pacific Exercise (RIMPAC) in August 2020, and Exercise Keen Sword in October-November 2020.
Held in the Asia-Pacific region since 2017, KAEDEX focuses on strengthening interoperability between the Royal Canadian Navy and the Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Force. HMCS Winnipeg and Japanese Ship Shimakaze participated in the cooperative deployment, held near Yokosuka, Japan in November 2020.
HMCS Winnipeg recently completed a deployment and a Royal Canadian Air Force CP-140 aircraft is currently deployed under Operation NEON supporting UN sanctions in the region. The Canadian Armed Forces deploys a Royal Canadian Navy Halifax-class frigate with embarked maritime helicopter detachment, and a Royal Canadian Air Force CP-140 Aurora with crew and supporting personnel on a rotational basis. This is the third time the CAF has deployed personnel since Operation NEON was established in 2019.