Cablegate: U.S.-Japan Roles, Missions and Capabilities

DE RUEHKO #3120/01 3162254
P 112254Z NOV 08

S E C R E T SECTION 01 OF 05 TOKYO 003120


USFJ FOR J00, J01, J5

E.O. 12958: DECL: 11/10/2023

Classified By: Ambassador J. Thomas Schieffer. Reasons 1.4 (B) (D)

1. (S) SUMMARY: The bilateral Roles, Mission and Capabilities
Working Group (RMC WG), co-chaired by Deputy Assistant
Secretary of Defense Sedney and State Department Japan Office
Director Russel, along with Deputy Director General
counterparts from the Ministries of Foreign Affairs and
Defense, met in Tokyo on October 7. Highlights from the
three-hour meeting include:

-- Bilateral Planning: The United States pressed for Japan to
complete more site surveys sooner and to provide a timeline.
MOD and MOFA indicated a greater understanding of the
importance of accurate assumptions in planning. They also
acknowledged the usefulness of a plan execution matrix in the
bilateral Contingency Plan (CONPLAN) 5055.

-- Bilateral Coordination Mechanism (BCM): Japan reiterated
support for the flexible activation of the mil-mil Bilateral
Coordination Centers and stated the need for consideration on
how to more flexibly activate the policy-level BCM entities.

-- NEO: MOD agreed that early completion of surveys of ports
and coordination with relevant ministries is important for

-- Cluster Munitions (CM): MOD requested cooperation in
preventing Japan's planned ratification of the Oslo
Convention from forcing the Japanese government to ask USFJ
to limit the storage or employment of CM in Japan.

-- Training on Guam: Japan's Self Defense Forces are
examining opportunities for conducting bilateral, JSDF-only
joint service, and bilateral joint exercises on Guam.

-- Information Sharing: Both sides agreed to establish an
Executive Steering Group to oversee information sharing
efforts and issues.

-- Command and Control Working Group: The work is complete
and the results will be fed into other working groups,
incorporated into plans and validated during exercises.

-- Capability Assessment Group: Work on the bilateral
airpower assessment will continue with a workshop on
capability-based planning, agreement on terms of reference
and commencement of a six month study.

-- Extended Deterrence: Japan wants continued dialogue to
gain better understanding of U.S. policy and dissuade
doubters in Japan. The US-side indicated its unwavering
commitment to meet its treaty obligations.

Both sides agreed to hold the next RMC WG early in 2009. End

2. (U) The bilateral Roles, Mission and Capabilities Working
Group (RMC WG) met in Tokyo on October 7. Deputy Assistant
Secretary of Defense for East Asia David Sedney and State
Department Japan Office Director Daniel Russel led the
U.S.-side, which included participants from the Joint Staff,
U.S. Pacific Command (PACOM), U.S. Forces Japan (USFJ) and
Embassy Tokyo. Ministry of Defense (MOD) Deputy Director
General for Defense Policy Ryutaro Matsumoto and Ministry of
Foreign Affairs (MOFA) Deputy Director General for North
American Affairs Koji Haneda co-chaired the Japan side, which
included representatives from the Japan Joint Staff Office
(JSO). The following are highlights from the presentations
and discussions during the meeting.

Bilateral Planning Overview

3. (S) USFJ presented a timeline for the bilateral updating
of Contingency Plan 5055-09, due for completion in September
2009. Responding to DASD Sedney's inquiries, MOD DDG
Matsumoto said that Japan is not considering any new roles
and missions for the Japan Self Defense Forces (JSDF) under
the new guidance driving the update. Turning to surveys of
Japanese public and commercial airports and seaports, MOD
representative said Japan had completed five surveys and
would finish two more this year. The data gained from these
site surveys should be reflected in CONPLAN 5055. The U.S.
side pressed Japan to complete the surveys of the remaining
airports and seaports as soon as possible and said the
results of all port surveys need to be reflected in the
CONPLAN. The JSO J5 representative agreed with the point,
and stated that this is necessary to fully realize the
benefits of the planning process. DASD Sedney reiterated
past U.S. requests for a timeline for completion of the
surveys but received no commitment from MOD and MOFA

Planning Assumptions

4. (S) The United States highlighted for Japan the
importance of realistic assumptions in the planning process
and the important role policymakers play in developing these
assumptions. Incorrect or unrealistic assumptions will lead
to faulty planning and poor operations. The U.S. side
suggested that assumptions in the CONPLAN 5055-09 planning
process should be separated into those relevant for
peacetime, situations in areas surrounding Japan (SIASJ) and
the defense of Japan in war/conflict situations. DDG
Matsumoto described this as a very effective way to approach
the assumptions, while cautioning that more study of the
specific information, such as the authorization of strike
options during SIASJ, is needed.

Update on Bilateral Coordination Mechanism (BCM)
--------------------------------------------- --

5. (S) Following up on the flexibility Japan had previously
shown on the activation of the mil-to-mil Bilateral
Coordination Centers, the United States stressed that
flexibility is also needed in activating the more
policy-oriented BCM structures, especially the Joint
Coordination Group (JCG), that include relevant ministries
and agencies (RMA) besides MOD and MOFA. Using those agreed
upon BCM structures to bilaterally coordinate on matters that
RMA's have jurisdiction over, such as airspace, frequency
allocation or access to ports, will be critical during
peacetime on the road to a contingency and during the
transition to SIASJ or a wartime environment.

6. (S) MOD, after describing the political realities and
legal guidelines they are operating under, agreed that crisis
situations reduce timelines and increase the need for greater
information flow. While politics and legal grounds may
prevent the activation of the BCM prior to declaration of
SIASJ, which MOD DG Matsumoto acknowledged as a problem,
preparation and coordination needs to happen before, not
during, a crisis. He reiterated his support for the early
activation, including during peacetime, of the mil-mil BCC
that will allow for coordination between U.S. forces and the
JSDF. DDG Matsumoto said more work needs to be done on
figuring out how to utilize the JCG and coordinate on policy
without the full standup of the BCM. MOFA DDG Haneda agreed,
highlighting examples of how early RMA involvement and
coordination on contingencies is critical. Both the U.S. and
Japan acknowledged the process will be reviewed and improved
during CONPLAN 5055 revision and exercised during the KEEN
EDGE-09 exercise.

Plan Execution Matrix

7. (S) The United States explained why a plan execution
matrix, encompassing unilateral and bilateral political
decision points, would be an important part of CONPLAN 5055.
Clear understanding of the decision points, especially those
relevant to the transitions from peacetime, to SIASJ, to
wartime, will allow military planners to forecast paths
forward. The matrix would not be a commitment to a specific
timeline or to specific decisions. JSO expressed concern
with how the matrix would reflect the political uncertainty
inherent in Japanese decision making. DASD Sedney noted that
uncertainty in general is both the challenge of and purpose
for planning, with the goal being to reduce, or at least
recognize, the uncertainty. MOFA DDG Haneda commented that a
matrix would be a useful tool to reduce the unpredictability
in decision making during contingencies. (NOTE: JSO had been
hesitant to fully take on this tasking proposed by USFJ
without policy-level acknowledgment and approval, as many of
the decision points are outside of JSO control. By gaining
MOFA and MOD tacit approval, JSO should now be able to move
forward with developing the matrix in concert with USFJ. End

Non-Combatant Evacuation Operations (NEO)

8. (S) MOFA presented an overview of the bilateral work to
develop standard operation procedures to handle NEO. While a
good amount of the work is the purview of MOFA and State,
more interaction between USFJ and JSDF on NEO, especially
during mil-mil exercises, would be beneficial to the process.
USFJ confirmed that NEO will be part of the KEEN EDGE-09
exercise. DASD Sedney noted that NEO, which will start well
before a SIASJ, involves complicated processes (gaining
access to ports, coordinating U.S. and JSDF force flows
supporting unilateral and bilateral missions, etc.) that
overlap military, government and local activities. Having
site surveys of ports completed as soon as possible is
critically important to NEO and Japan's Transportation of
Japanese Nationals Operations (TJNO) operations, DASD Sedney
pointed out. MOD DDG Matsumoto agreed on the need for
completion of the site surveys and coordination with Japan
Coast Guard, police and fire authorities, and local
governments sooner rather than later.

Cluster Munitions (CM)

9. (S) MOD reviewed the likely timeline for Japan's signing
and ratification of the Oslo Convention banning CM, its plans
for replacing the lost capability and concerns how these
efforts could cause the Diet to question USFJ's storing CM in
Japan. Submitting a budget request for alternative weapons
and systems that purportedly equal the effect of CM will
cause some Diet members to question USFJ's need for CM to
defend Japan. This could result in the Government of Japan
being forced to request the United States to remove CM from
Japan or to limit their employment on Japanese territory.
MOD and MOFA want to prevent this situation and seek to
exchange information with the United States at the mil-mil
level and then develop a way forward to deal with the Diet
and public pressure. USFJ offered that it is not possible to
fully replace the capabilities afforded by CM with
alternative measures. By giving up this capability Japan is
therefore ceding a role and mission to the United States.
One way to not get trapped into the Diet scenario MOD laid
out is to publically state that Japan gave up CM for
humanitarian reasons and is now reliant on U.S. forces to
fill the capability gap created.

Training on Guam

10. (S) PACOM presented an overview of training areas and
types of bilateral, unilateral, single service and joint
training opportunities that are and will be available on
Guam. The JSO presentation focused on three types of
training ) bilateral exercises (service oriented), JSDF-only
joint service exercises, and bilateral joint exercises. The
JSDF will focus on bilateral first and then expand to joint
and joint/bilateral in the future. Functionally, the JSDF
would like to focus on force deployment, electronic warfare,
ballistic missile defense and TNJO (Transportation of
Japanese Nationals Overseas), with each training event being
approximately seven days long, occurring three times a year
and taking place on U.S. facilities. PACOM responded that
the prospect for Japan to train at Guam largely depends on
the scale of the exercise. PACOM advised that the training
on Guam would be viewed as an augment to the bilateral
training currently conducted on Mainland Japan and Okinawa,
and that the United States fully expected the JSDF to
maintain and modernize mainland training ranges.

Information Sharing Roadmap

11. In response to Japan's early request to establish an
Information Sharing Roadmap Working Group, the United States
proposed forming an Executive Steering Group (ESG) that PACOM
J5 and OSD/Japan Desk would co-chair on the U.S. side. The
ESG would take stock of the full range of information
currently being shared, take up issues that are not yet being
handled, and attempt to resolve issues that current bilateral
entities cannot solve. The ESG will not present formal
reports to the RMC WG but can refer issues to the group.
Japan accepted the counterproposal and said it would name its
leadership soon.

Space Policy

12. (S) After reviewing changes in Japan's ability to use
space for security purposes as a result of the Fundamental
Space Law passed in May 2008, MOD introduced its priorities:

-- Strengthen intelligence functions
-- Increase its technology base and technological cooperation
with civilian space entities
-- Evaluate possibilities to field assets and technology,
such as early warning satellite, signal intelligence
satellites, compact reconnaissance satellites and sensor and
jamming resistant technologies
-- Coordinate with the United States on the use of space

MOD has representatives in the Cabinet Secretariat's Space
Development Strategy Headquarters that are developing a Basic
Space Plan. Internally, MOD is developing guidelines and
policy preferences to be ready for the bureaucratic
reshuffling that is expected. These efforts will influence
the drafting of the Mid-Term Defense Plan and the review of
the National Defense Policy Guidelines. DASD Sedney noted
that space policy is definitely an RMC issue, as new
capabilities will affect bilateral roles and missions.
Coordination and cooperation also provide opportunities for
progress on information sharing and information security,
DASD Sedney stated.

Command and Control (C2) Working Group

13. (C) JSO reviewed the results of the C2 WG. These
results will feed into other working groups and bilateral
activities, get incorporated into plans and be validated
during exercises. USFJ noted that the structure identified
by the C2 WG presents a range of options, is not meant to be
restrictive, and both countries' commanders have the ability
to modify it based on real life circumstances.

Capability Assessment Group (CAG)

14. (C) The United States previewed the road forward for the
CAG's work on airpower: a weeklong workshop by Booz Allen on
capability based assessment and planning in October;
agreement on a Terms of Reference for the CAG Airpower
Assessment Group; and the start of a six-month airpower study
in November or December. The JSO said the Japan Maritime
Self Defense Force is eager to begin a maritime capabilities

Extended Deterrence

15. (S) During a separate session attended by a limited
number of Japanese participants, MOFA explained that extended
deterrence is critical to Japan and hence Japan would like
input into U.S. policy considerations. Japan is concerned
about any shifts in policy that might occur during political
leadership transitions in either country, especially given
the deteriorating nuclear situation around Japan as North
Korea continues to develop capabilities and China expands its
arsenal. There are some in Japan that are discussing
indigenous nuclear development in Japan, partly due to a lack
of confidence in the U.S. extended deterrence. By ensuring
better understanding of U.S. policy and plans, we improve the
Japanese government's ability to allay these fears and build
more trust of extended deterrence. As such, MOFA and MOD are
looking forward to continued dialogue with the Department of
Defense. DASD Sedney stated that the U.S. policy of extended
deterrence has applied to Japan for decades. The U.S. is
committed to meeting treaty obligations to Japan and allies.
This U.S. commitment remains strong as does its intent to
maintain capabilities, political and military, that will
allow it to carry out these obligations.

16. (U) DASD Sedney's staff and EAP/J Director Russel
cleared this cable.

© Scoop Media

World Headlines


Werewolf: Gordon Campbell On North Korea, Neo-Nazism, And Milo

With a bit of luck the planet won’t be devastated by nuclear war in the next few days. US President Donald Trump will have begun to fixate on some other way to gratify his self-esteem – maybe by invading Venezuela or starting a war with Iran. More>>

Victory Declared: New Stabilisation Funding From NZ As Mosul Is Retaken

New Zealand has congratulated the Iraqi government on the successful liberation of Mosul from ISIS after a long and hard-fought campaign. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The Current US Moves Against North Korea

If Martians visited early last week, they’d probably be scratching their heads as to why North Korea was being treated as a potential trigger for global conflict... More>>


Gordon Campbell: On The Lessons From Corbyn’s Campaign

Leaving partisan politics aside – and ignoring Jeremy Corbyn’s sensational election campaign for a moment – it has to be said that Britain is now really up shit creek... More>>


Another US Court: Fourth Circuit Rules Muslim Ban Discriminatory

ACLU: Step by step, point by point, the court laid out what has been clear from the start: The president promised to ban Muslims from the United States, and his executive orders are an attempt to do just that. More>>