Japanese media reported that U.S. Secretary of Defense Mark Esper, who is visiting Japan, asked Wednesday Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to continue to maintain GSOMIA. Abe and Esper met at the Japanese prime minister’s official residence in Tokyo.
“GSOMIA is key for South Korea, the U.S. and Japan to prevent threats of North Korea. I sincerely hope that the Agreement will stay intact,” said Esper. The Asahi Shimbun reported that the U.S. Secretary of Defense also stressed the importance of the agreement in his meeting with Japanese Defense Minister Takeshi Iwaya. Esper, who will visit South Korea after his stay in Japan, is reportedly known to urge South Korea and Japan to swiftly resolve conflicts and concentrate on resolving issues in North Korea and Japan. He also urged Japan to join the Strait of Hormuz Coalition. The minister replied that Japan “wishes to determine in light of stable oil supply and relationship between the U.S. and Japan”.