MILITARY

US, Japan defense chiefs urge deeper bilateral ties, say Okinawa base plan is only solution

  • Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida, right, prepares to shake hands with  U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter before their working lunch at the foreign ministry's Iikura guest house in Tokyo Wednesday, April 8, 2015. (AP Photo/Yuya Shino, Pool)

    Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida, right, prepares to shake hands with U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter before their working lunch at the foreign ministry's Iikura guest house in Tokyo Wednesday, April 8, 2015. (AP Photo/Yuya Shino, Pool)  (The Associated Press)

  • U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter, left, shakes hands with Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida before their working lunch at the foreign ministry's Iikura guest house in Tokyo Wednesday, April 8, 2015. (AP Photo/Yuya Shino, Pool)

    U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter, left, shakes hands with Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida before their working lunch at the foreign ministry's Iikura guest house in Tokyo Wednesday, April 8, 2015. (AP Photo/Yuya Shino, Pool)  (The Associated Press)

  • U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter, right, is escorted to inspect an honor guard at the Defense Ministry in Tokyo, Wednesday, April 8, 2015. Carter visits Japan and South Korea this week amid speculation the U.S. wants to place a missile defense system in South Korea against North Korean ballistic missiles, which Seoul is reluctant about as it would alienate China. The U.S. has already deployed anti-missile radar in Japan. (AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko)

    U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter, right, is escorted to inspect an honor guard at the Defense Ministry in Tokyo, Wednesday, April 8, 2015. Carter visits Japan and South Korea this week amid speculation the U.S. wants to place a missile defense system in South Korea against North Korean ballistic missiles, which Seoul is reluctant about as it would alienate China. The U.S. has already deployed anti-missile radar in Japan. (AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko)  (The Associated Press)

U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter says a nearly completed revision of the U.S.-Japan Defense Guidelines will transform the bilateral alliance and help the countries respond to challenges in the Asia-Pacific region and around the globe.

Carter is in Tokyo on Wednesday to meet with Japanese officials on his first trip to Asia since becoming defense secretary in February. He visits South Korea later this week.

Japan and the United States are expected to finish the revision of their defense guidelines later this month.

Japanese Defense Minister Gen Nakatani says he and Carter also reiterated their support for a controversial plan to relocate a U.S. Marines base to another part of Okinawa in southern Japan.