• Kyodo

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U.S. Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld and Defense Agency Director General Gen Nakatani may meet in Washington on May 25, Pentagon sources said Wednesday.

The Pentagon has already sounded out the Japanese government on the plan, the sources said.

The meeting would be the first between the defense chiefs of the two countries since the administration of President George W. Bush was launched in January.

Rumsfeld and Nakatani are expected to confirm the importance of promoting technical interchanges between the two countries in military equipment, especially that related to information technology, such as communications systems for command control and prevention of cyber attacks, Defense Agency sources said.

The two defense chiefs are also expected to agree to cooperate in the “revolution in military affairs,” a field initiated by the U.S. military after the 1991 Gulf War and pursued by the militaries of other countries, the sources said. “It is indispensable for Japan and the United States to cooperate in promoting RMA from a viewpoint of increasing interoperability of their militaries,” a Defense Agency source said.

Technological exchange between the two countries should be seen in the context of their overall defense strategy, a source at the Pentagon said.

The Defense Agency defines RMA as reforms in military equipment and strategy accompanying applications of advanced IT to the battlefield to improve the rate of success in achieving military goals.

Japan and the U.S. have held talks on military equipment and technology on a regular basis since 1992.

Based on the talks, the two countries have conducted joint study on nine projects. But all of them, excluding joint research on a theater missile defense system, are about conventional military equipment and systems.

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