- Pelosi meets Kishida as allies try to deflect China’s Taiwan pressure
- US, Japan, Korea signal unity to DPRK with Pacific Dragon exercise
- US and Japan engage with Solomon Islands, remember Guadalcanal
- American and Japanese firms join efforts to reach Net-Zero emissions
- Kishida reshuffles Cabinet, replaces Defense and Industry ministers
- House Speaker Pelosi and her delegation met with Prime Minister Kishida August 5. The Japan leg of her trip followed Pelosi’s stop in Taiwan that drew an angry Chinese response and intimidating military exercises. Kishida and Pelosi discussed maintaining peace in the Taiwan Strait, Russia’s war in Ukraine, and bilateral deterrence capabilities. Pelosi was the highest-ranking US official to visit Taiwan in 25 years. China flew dozens of aircraft and drones into Taiwan’s air defense zone and elicited a formal protest from Tokyo after five missiles landed in Japan’s exclusive economic zone. The US and Japan joined in the G7 to release a statement of concern and reaffirmed their shared commitment to maintain the rules based international order and peace and stability across the Taiwan strait. Separately, during the 55th ASEAN Foreign Ministers Meeting, US, Australian and Japanese officials jointly urged China to cease its military exercises. They reaffirmed their commitment to maintaining peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait along with their resolve in supporting ASEAN centrality and the importance of the Pacific Island countries as partners.
- The US, Japan, and Republic of Korea in the first half of August held combined ballistic missile defense exercises in Hawaii, in a display of trilateral deterrence against North Korea. The Pacific Dragon drill, which also included Australia and Canada, came after a pledge of increased security coordination at the Shangri-La Dialogue earlier this summer. The exercises focused on missile search and tracking operations, and aimed to improve interoperability along with tactical and technical coordination. ROK Defense Minister Lee Jong-Sup said President Yoon’s government desires to expand trilateral exercises in response to North Korean missile and nuclear threats.
- US and Japanese officials vowed to deepen their cooperation with the Solomon Islands as China’s interest in the region grows. Deputy Secretary of State Sherman and Senior Vice Minister Oniki attended an 80th anniversary memorial of the Battle of Guadalcanal August 7. Sherman emphasized the US commitment to engaging with Pacific island nations and warned other nations against using economic or military coercion. Oniki met with Prime Minister Sogavare, and they agree to strengthen mutual cooperation. Separately, the Japan MSDF and US Navy conducted their first joint exercise with the Solomon Islands Maritime Police Force.
- Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation (SMBC), IBM Japan and US-based Persefoni Inc. established an agreement to address decarbonization. The joint venture announced on August 10 seeks to achieve Net-Zero emissions by utilizing Persefoni’s Climate Management and Accounting Platform (CMAP). Persefoni’s software solutions enable users to calculate their carbon footprint, perform climate trajectory modeling and benchmark their impact by region, sector, or peer groups. SMBC is the first multinational financial institution in Japan to sign a multi-year contract with Persefoni.
- Prime Minister Kishida reshuffled his Cabinet on August 10, returning Hayashi as Foreign Minister but replacing Defense Minister Kishi with former Defense Minister Hamada and replacing METI minister Hagiuda with Nishimura. Hagiuda was named as Chairman of the LDP Policy Research Council.
“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.