"The Japan-U.S. relationship is evolving into a global
one," Ono said in summing up his meetings Friday with
Rumsfeld, Vice President Dick Cheney and Deputy
Secretary of State Richard Armitage.
Ono said he told Rumsfeld that Japan is working to
review its arms export ban toward easing it "from the
standpoint of effective implementation of the Japan-U.S.
security alliance," and to upgrade the SDF's
Rumsfeld described these processes as moving in a good
direction, Ono said.
With Japan and the U.S. expected to bring their current
joint research of a ballistic missile defense system
into the development and production stage, Japan is
acting to ease its ban on exporting weapons. Currently
the only exception to the ban is technology transfers to
As for the global U.S. military realignment, Ono said he
and Rumsfeld agreed that the security situation in Asia
remains tougher than in Europe. Ono said the U.S.
defense chief acknowledged that less troops will be
withdrawn from Asia than Europe among the 70,000 troops
Washington plans to reduce abroad.