On August 6, 2020, Minister KONO had a video teleconference with General Bajwa, Chief of Army Staff of Islamic Republic of Pakistan.
During the video teleconference, the two parties exchanged views on issues such as the roles to be played by the defense authorities given the global spread of COVID-19. Minister Kono explained the Japan Self-Defense Forces’ activities on the cruise ship Diamond Princess, activities to take measures at the airport and to prevent community spread infection, infection-preventative measures undertaken in their operation which resulted in having no deployed member infected with the virus, and analysis by the SDF Central Hospital by using a presentation document (see attached). General Bajwa also explained the recent activities and measures taken in Pakistan.
Furthermore, the two parties exchanged views on defense cooperation between Japan and Pakistan. And Minister Kono pointed out the importance of both countries’ maintaining seamless defense posture and continued and strengthened bilateral defense cooperation to uphold and reinforce the Free and Open Indo-Pacific taking into consideration the implication of COVID-19.
The two parties agreed on the following three points bearing in mind the circumstances arisen by the spread of COVID-19;
sharing information, knowledge and lessons learned about the measures taken by the defense authorities towards overcoming COVID-19 at the earliest stage; necessity of sharing threat recognition based on the current circumstances and potential effects of the spread of COVID-19 on defense policy of each country; and promoting vigorously defense cooperation and exchanges while maintaining communication between the defense authorities.