- Biden and Kishida meet in Tokyo, accelerate alliance agenda
- Quad launches maritime domain awareness initiative in Tokyo
- US-Japan boost space cooperation, to land Japanese astronaut on moon
- Glen Fukushima donates $1 million to US-Japan Fulbright Exchange
- Leaders commemorate 50th anniversary of Okinawa’s return to Japan
- Prime Minister Kishida and President Biden met in Tokyo May 23 for their first in-person meeting since taking office. They issued a joint statement, reaffirming bilateral commitments to strengthening a free and open international order in the wake of conflict and increased tensions exacerbated by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, North Korea missile tests, and China’s undermining of the international rules-based order. Biden reiterated support for Japan’s permanent membership in a reformed UN Security Council, and he welcomed Kishida’s determination to increase Japan’s defense budget. The leaders also highlighted progress made by the US-Japan Competitiveness and Resilience (CoRe) Partnership, established in 2021, and they reinforced bilateral cooperation on renewable energy to address climate change. Biden also launched a new “Indo-Pacific Economic Framework,” endorsed by twelve countries including Japan.
- The Quad leaders’ meeting on May 24 yielded a new initiative, the Indo-Pacific Partnership for Maritime Domain Awareness (IPMDA). Satellites will provide countries integrated and cost-effective maritime domain awareness across the Pacific Islands, Southeast Asia and the Indian Ocean. This effort, which will be built with investments over the next five years from Australia, India, Japan, and the United States, will help combat illegal fishing, unconventional maritime militias, and human and weapons trafficking. The goal of IPMDA is to promote stability and prosperity across the region and by empowering multilateral collaboration with better tools to support the international rules-based order.
- President Biden and Prime Minister Kishida announced a new effort to increase bilateral cooperation in space. The May 23 announcement from Tokyo outlined the new endeavor, which Biden said would fulfill their goal of Japanese and American astronauts walking on the moon together. They committed to a Japanese astronaut opportunity on the Gateway, a human outpost in the lunar vicinity, as part of expanding Artemis This includes a goal of landing a Japanese astronaut on the moon by the end of the decade.
- During Biden’s Tokyo trip, the US Embassy announced the largest single donation made by a US citizen to the US-Japan Fulbright exchange program. Glen Fukushima, currently Vice Chairman of the Securities Investor Protection Corporation and former American Chamber of Commerce in Japan President, personally donated $1 million to establish a Fulbright-Glen S. Fukushima Fund to expand study and research opportunities for Japanese and Americans.
- Japan marked the 50th anniversary of Okinawa’s return on May 15, recalling the day in 1972 when the United States handed back this multi-island prefecture that it had governed since the end of World War II. Prime Minister Kishida acknowledged the continuing “large base-hosting burden” on Okinawa and pledged further reductions, while Okinawa Governor Tamaki complained that progress is too slow. Japan’s Emperor Naruhito hoped that,” a broader section of Japanese, including the young generation, will further deepen their understanding of Okinawa.” US Ambassador Emanuel presented President Biden’s message of “friendship and remembrance to the people of Okinawa.”
“US-Japan Alliance Digest” is a bi-weekly summary of bilateral and related developments compiled by Sasakawa USA’s “US-Japan NEXT Alliance Initiative.” To receive “Alliance Digest” via email, contact email@example.com