East Meets West

March 7, 2007

Dear Members and Friends,

No place on earth better reflects “East Meets West” than Hawaii. The very history of Hawaii, its demographics, and location have allowed distinctive cultures to come together in collaboration, making Hawaii a natural venue for partnership. In lieu of that, the United States Government and the Government of Japan are coming together on a missile defense partnership this week. This inaugural event involves a Japanese- built separable nosecone on a United States defensive missile being launched from the USS Lake Erie CG-70 Aegis Cruiser at a simulated target. This collaboration marks a significant international strategic policy direction towards defeating and nullifying threats from nations like North Korea.

Sea-based missile defense offers an effective and unique protection due to its mobility, responsiveness and agile capabilities. For example, three Aegis outfitted missile defense ships can protect the entire country of Japan from a ballistic missile attack. One of these ships can protect the state of Hawaii. These two examples of deployment will be implemented in the very new future, which gives both of our countries and their people real protection and real deterrence against the global and universal threat.

We at MDAA honored this partnership at an evening event in Honolulu featuring our government’s represenative responsible for Navy sea-based defense, Real Admiral Brad Hicks. Among the attendees at this event included an adjunct general of Hawaii, the Japanese Chamber of Commerce, the Honolulu Chamber of Commerce, Captain Joseph J. Horn, Jr., of the USS Lake Erie and other influential leaders throughout Hawaii.

During this past week MDAA also had the opportunity to meet with key organizations that have unique and valuable ties to the east and specifically Japan such as the Asia Pacific Center for Security Studies and the East West Center located at the University of Hawaii. In addition, MDAA had a briefing for the Honolulu Council of the Navy League. All of these events furthered our relationship and partnership with both our cultures and communities which resulted in education and awareness of this critical issue.

It must be clearly noted that the country of Japan stands as one of the most committed nations in the world besides the United States in fielding, deploying and championing missile defense systems.

Having a North Korean ballistic missile fly across Japanese territory without warning or protection has made Japan’s commitment real and necessary.

Will we as a country need to wait until a ballistic missile flies over our territory for our government to have the urgency and national priority to have an effective, deployed and robust system to defend against all missiles from anywhere all the time?


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