April 5th, 2015 14:03 EST
Ash Carter Asia Trips to Affirm Defense Ties, Build on Initiatives
DoD News, Defense Media Activity
Defense Secretary Ash Carter will visit Asia twice over the next two months to affirm defense relationships with allies and build upon key initiatives of the U.S. strategic rebalance to the region, Pentagon officials announced today.
In a written statement, officials said Carter will begin his first trip April 6 for visits to Japan and South Korea that will focus on strengthening and modernizing America`s alliances in Northeast Asia.
On the way to Japan, the statement said, Carter will speak to students and faculty at the McCain Institute of Arizona State University in Tempe, Arizona, about the strong link between national security and economic security and the full-court press that President Barack Obama`s administration will continue to take on the rebalance.
Japan and South Korea
In Japan on April 8 and 9, officials said, the secretary will meet with senior Japanese officials to discuss the defense strategic guidelines review and other matters of mutual interest ahead of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe`s visit to Washington at the end of April.
In the South Korean capital of Seoul on April 9 and 10, Carter will meet with senior government officials to reiterate the United States` strong commitment to South Korea`s security and discuss regional issues, the statement said. In both countries, officials added, Carter will meet with U.S. service members and their families.
The secretary will visit U.S. Pacific Command in Honolulu on April 11 and will return to Washington on April 12.
Shangri-La Dialogue and India
In May, Carter will travel again to focus on building and strengthening growing partnerships in South Asia and Southeast Asia, the statement said. Carter will address the annual Shangri-La Dialogue security conference in Singapore, which officials said he views as an important opportunity to engage with Singapore and other key partners in Southeast Asia.
Carter also will visit India, where officials said he is looking forward to building on Obama`s visit earlier this year by further strengthening U.S.-India defense cooperation.
That cooperation includes the Defense Technology and Trade Initiative that Carter started when he served as deputy defense secretary, officials said, adding that Carter also will engage India further on other Asia-Pacific issues.
Photo Credit: Wikipedia