- US & Japan discuss supply chains, more at first ministerial Economic 2+2
- Japan Science Council okays dual use research, allied consultations expand
- Allies carry out large military air exercise and missile sale
- US & Japan release statement on joint plan to counter COVID
- US-Japan convene director-level dialogue on space security
- Secretary of State Blinken and Secretary of Commerce Raimondo hosted Japanese counterparts Ministers Hayashi and Hagiuda for a first-ever ministerial level US-Japan Economic Policy Consultative Committee (EPCC) in Washington on July 29. At a press conference afterwards the four leaders emphasized the new forum’s role in supporting a rules-based international economic order, diversifying critical supply chains, and strengthening their economic security. Minister Hagiuda highlighted their support for an effort to create a new high-end semiconductor technology research organization in Japan that would also be open to other international partners. The EPCC meeting occurred on the heels of US Congress’ passage of the “CHIPS + Science Act” that will allocate significant new funding for semiconductor manufacturing in the US and bigger research budgets, as well as Japan’s decision to provide ~$700m in subsidies for a US-Japan joint venture 3D flash memory semiconductor production facility in Japan.
- The environment for US-Japan science and technology research collaboration improved following a statement by the Science Council of Japan on July 25 to effectively accept participation in advanced research that can have both military and civilian applications. This should expand opportunities for university collaborations on emerging technologies. Additionally, Japan’s State Minister for Cabinet Affairs in charge of Science, Technology, and Economic Security (Minister Ohno) visited Washington in late July, as did the Defense Ministry’s Director General for Technology Strategy.
- The US Air Force and Japanese Air SDF conducted large-scale joint exercises involving 52 aircraft around the Sea of Japan and East China Sea earlier this month. Against a backdrop of more frequent Chinese and Russian military exercises around Japan, Japan’s Defense Ministry said the exercises were an effort to improve deterrence, tactical skills, and “joint response capability.” Separately, the US government on July 25 announced that it had approved the sale of 150 advanced medium-range air-to-air missiles (likely for F-35s) to Japan in a deal worth some $293 million.
- Foreign Minister Hayashi and Secretary of State Blinken co-hosted the virtual COVID-19 Global Action Plan (GAP) on July 19 as a follow up to similar multilateral meetings convened over the past year. The aim was to sustain momentum to end the COVID-19 pandemic and strengthen preparedness for future health threats. Participants took stock of efforts to achieve the six GAP lines of effort. In a joint statement, the foreign ministers called for ongoing multilateral efforts to counter the pandemic along with equitable and sustainable access to quality healthcare.
- The US-Japan Space Security Dialogue was held on July 20-21 in Japan, involving representatives from the allies’ foreign and defense bureaucracies, as well as officials from Japan’s National Security and Space Policy secretariats. The dialogue covered joint space domain awareness and countering threats in the space domain. Both nations agreed on the goal of preserving safe, secure, and stable utilization of the space domain including responsible behaviors and engaging with third countries.
“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 firstname.lastname@example.org.