US-Japan Alliance Digest Vol 1.13

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Publications US-Japan Alliance Digest Vol 1.13

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  • US-Japan alliance mourns the loss of Shinzo Abe
  • Treasury-Finance leaders meet in Tokyo
  • Maritime collaboration boosted by meeting and exchange
  • Western Japanese city accepts US drone deployment
  • Economic 2+2 agenda & preparations advance, new EV factory


  • Sasakawa Peace Foundation USA joins with countless others in the United States and around the world in expressing our shock and sorrow upon hearing of former Prime Minister Abe’s assassination on July 8. Abe was one of Japan’s great leaders, and he leaves behind a significant foreign policy legacy expanding Japan’s diplomatic influence around the world and strengthening the US-Japan alliance. Secretary of State Blinken made a special stop in Tokyo July 11 to pay respects and meet Prime Minister Kishida and other officials. In a statement, President Biden mourned the loss of his “friend,” calling him “a champion of the Alliance between our nations and the friendship between our people.”
  • Treasury Secretary Yellen arrived in Japan on July 11 for a two-day trip to meet with Japanese government and industry leaders including Finance Minister Suzuki ahead of the G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors meeting in Bali. According to a joint statement, the two discussed deepening bilateral ties to tackle various global issues including Ukraine, inflation, and climate change. They agreed to cooperate to mitigate risks from potentially unstable exchange rates. Meeting with industry leaders, Yellen addressed supply chain resiliency and “friend-shoring.”
  • A medical team made of six members from various Japan Self-Defense Force branches boarded the USNS MERCY hospital ship to participate in Pacific Partnership 2022 in July. The partnership is in its 17th year and is the largest annual multinational humanitarian assistance and disaster relief preparedness mission in the Indo-Pacific. Separately in Washington, Chief of Naval Operations Admiral Gilday met with Maritime SDF Admiral Sakai on June 28 to share strategic insights and discuss how the allies can increase readiness, deter and counter malign gray-zone activities in the Indo-Pacific, and focus on interoperability and interchangeability between the two forces.
  • Reflecting perceptions of an “increasingly severe” regional security environment, the Mayor of Kanoya City in western Japan agreed to host eight US Air Force MQ-9 Reaper drones at a local Self-Defense Force base from September. Strictly serving in a surveillance role, the drones received approval for one year to monitor Chinese maritime activity. Mayor Nakanishi said “it’s inevitable to accept temporary deployment of US forces’ unmanned aircraft [because] intelligence gathering is necessary for defense of our country under the Japan-US alliance” in the current environment.
  • Amid continuing bilateral preparations for the first Economic 2+2 ministerial meeting in late July, Japan’s Digital Agency Minister Makishima visited Washington from July 11. She discussed cybersecurity policy and emerging tech issues with Homeland Security Under Secretary for Policy Silvers and National Cyber Director Inglis, though a positive COVID test cut her schedule short and delayed her return to Japan. Meanwhile, Senators Young and Coons introduced new legislation aimed at countering Chinese economic coercion in coordination with allies, an agenda item for the Econ 2+2 and part of the NEXT Alliance bilateral dialogue series. Also, Panasonic announced July 14 that it will invest $4 billion in a second US electric vehicle battery factory in Kansas to support Tesla, along with 4,000 jobs.

“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

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