General Shigeru Iwasaki, Chief of Staff, Joint Staff, Japan Self-Defense Forces was officially greeted upon his arrival in the United States by Gen. Martin Dempsey, the U.S. Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff at an arrival ceremony held at Fort Lesley J. McNair, April 3, 2014.

Dempsey greeted Iwasaki on the steps of the National Defense University, America's premier joint professional military education institution and the two discussed topics of mutual interest to their nations.

During a short exchange of mementos between the two leaders, Iwasaki commented that the relationship between the United States and Japan is the best it has ever been in the history of his nation.

Iwasaki is the 4th Chief of Staff of the Joint Staff Council of the Japan Self-Defense Forces and is the highest-ranking military officer in Japan. He ranks third in the overall chain of command, after the Prime Minister and the Minister of Defense.

Later in the day, Iwasaki and Maj. Gen. Jeffrey S. Buchanan, the Joint Force Headquarters - National Capital Region and the U.S. Army Military District of Washington commanding general, participated in an Armed Forces Full Honor Wreath Laying Ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery, Va.