Earlier this week, Carter told an audience at Arizona State University that the two countries plan to take bilateral cooperation to a new level, expanding it into new areas, including space and cybersecurity.
Carter is on a three-day visit to Japan to complete a new set of defense guidelines forming the basis of US-Japan defense cooperation. Kyodo news agency quoted the Pentagon chief as saying that the new guidelines would transform the alliance so that the US armed forces and the Japanese Self-Defense Forces could "cooperate seamlessly" in responding to regional and global challenges.
The move is seen by many as an attempt to counter China's growing influence in the region. Tokyo and Beijing have been locked in a territorial dispute over the islands in the East China Sea, controlled by Japan. They are known in Japan as the Senkakus and China calls the islands Diaoyu.
During the joint press conference Ashton Carter warned against the militarization of territorial disputes in the Asia-Pacific region.