04:01 GMT +308 December 2019
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    U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter (3rd R) and Japan's vice Minister of Defense Kenji Wakamiya (2nd R) visit the Izumo, Japan Maritime Self Defense Force's (JMSDF) helicopter carrier, at JMSDF Yokosuka base in Yokosuka, south of Tokyo, Japan, December 6, 2016.

    US Defense Secretary Praises US-Japanese Alliance, Security Guidelines

    © REUTERS / Kim Kyung-Hoon
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    US Defense Secretary Ashton Carter praised the evolution of the US-Japanese alliance, especially the new defense guidelines introduced in 2015.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — During his visit to Tokyo, Carter inspected the country's largest naval vessel since World War II, the Izumo helicopter carrier, according to the Japanese Kyodo news agency.

    Carter is currently on his around-the-world trip with the purpose of meeting US forces stationed abroad and key allies in Asia, the Middle East and Europe.

    The new US-Japanese defense guidelines introduced in 2015 put a special emphasis on cyber and space as two potential areas for close cooperation, revised principles of defense imports and exports policies and outlined possible responses to security concerns.

    "I'd particularly point to defense guidelines and the scope they provide for the Japanese armed forces, which are extremely capable, … to operate in a wider range of ways for security, both within the alliance and for the region as a whole," Carter said, as quoted on the Department of Defense website.

    The defense chief added that the relationship with Japan had evolved over the years and cited North Korea as an example of a new development the allies had to adapt to, probably referring to Pyongyang's nuclear program, condemned by many neighboring countries.

    "And again, the health of the alliance has never been better," Carter said.

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    Ashton Carter, Japan, United States
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