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Japan, U.S. Defense Chiefs Discuss Iran, North Korea

Japan, U.S. Defense Chiefs Discuss Iran, North Korea

   Washington, Jan. 14 (Jiji Press)--Japanese Defense Minister Taro Kono and U.S. Defense Secretary Mark Esper discussed the situations in Iran and North Korea when they met at the Pentagon on Tuesday.
   The two defense chiefs also reaffirmed, ahead of the 60th anniversary Sunday of the 1960 revision to the Japan-U.S. security treaty, that the two countries will continue to work closely to strengthen the bilateral alliance.
   At a joint press conference after the meeting, Esper thanked Kono for "Japan's decision to deploy its Self-Defense Force assets to the Gulf of Aden, the Gulf of Oman and the Arabian Sea," referring to the planned dispatch of a Japanese SDF unit to the Middle East aimed at ensuring sea lane safety in the region.
   Kono pledged that Tokyo will "make persistent diplomatic efforts to ease the tension and stabilize the situation" in the Middle East.
   Esper also said the Japan-U.S. alliance "experienced a remarkable evolution over the past 60 years" and the bilateral relationship will "continue to be critical to our collective security and regional stability."

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