Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III held a call today with his Japanese counterpart, newly appointed Minister of Defense Kihara Minoru. Secretary Austin congratulated Minister Kihara on his new position and reaffirmed the United States’ ironclad commitment to the defense of Japan.

The two leaders affirmed steady progress between the United States and Japan on a wide range of concrete defense initiatives and exchanged views on the regional security environment. They committed to further cooperation on U.S.-Japan Alliance priorities, including deeper and expanded multilateral cooperation, in promoting a free and open Indo-Pacific region.