US-Japan Alliance Digest Vol 1. 22

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Publications US-Japan Alliance Digest Vol 1. 22

Download US-Japan Alliance Digest Vol 1. 22


Image Source: Asahi
  • US and Japan to advance and crew lunar orbit space station
  • US Navy completes base upgrade project in Japan
  • US-Japan hold Extended Deterrence Dialogue in Tokyo
  • Micron expands production of high-end chips in Hiroshima
  • US, Japan Succeed with First Joint SM-3 Block IIA Intercept Test


  • A Japanese astronaut will join a US crew aboard the planned lunar orbiting space station Gateway in tandem with Japan’s logistical support of the operation. NASA Administrator Nelson and MEXT Minister Nagaoka signed the agreement during a virtual meeting on November 18. Japan’s contributions to Gateway, which is part of NASA’s Artemis program, include critical components of the International Habitation module’s life support systems, batteries, and other technologies. Japan will also provide its HTV-XG spacecraft for delivery of a logistics resupply mission for Gateway, scheduled for no later than 2030. Nagaoka also announced Japan’s intention to continue its involvement with the International Space Station to 2030. Both countries hope to return an astronaut to the moon by 2025.
  • A ribbon cutting on November 18 in Yokosuka marked a new chapter for the largest US naval base in Japan. The US Navy completed a two-year, $128 million construction project that makes Pier 5 twice the size of before, expanding the base’s ship capacity, maintenance capabilities, and its ability to host next-generation warships. Pier 5 can now support up to three ships at a time and is the first small pier in Japan capable of supporting Zumwalt-class guided-missile destroyers. The pier includes a higher capacity for sea level rise and can support a 140-ton mobile crane. A Japanese ship was the first to be serviced by the pier, underscoring the allies’ commitment to shared use of facilities.
  • US and Japanese government officials met at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Tokyo on November 15-16 for the Extended Deterrence Dialogue (EDD). Foreign and defense ministry officials discussed defense posture, nuclear and missile defense policy, arms control, and new domains to enhance mutual understanding of alliance deterrence. They also examined how to use diplomatic tools and joint defense capabilities to respond to destabilizing actions in the region. The importance of the dialogue was underscored by North Korea’s November 18 launch of an ICBM that landed within Japan’s exclusive economic zone off Hokkaido. The EDD has continued regularly since it was established in 2010. President Biden reaffirmed the US commitment to its allies’ security amid continued North Korean “provocations.”
  • US memory chip maker Micron Technology on November 16 started mass production of its new high-capacity low-power 1-beta dynamic random access memory (DRAM) chips at its plant in Hiroshima, Japan. US Ambassador Emanuel said that the launch was an example of how the two countries “are committed to strengthening semiconductor supply chains” and national security together. Earlier this year Micron received a 46.5 billion Yen subsidy from the Japanese government to help expand this production. The new chips can store a third more data than previous versions.
  • Two Japanese Maya-class destroyers successfully test-fired new SM-3 interceptors for the first time against ballistic missile targets off Hawaii from November 16-20. The new SM-3 Block IIA has two distinct new features: larger rocket motors that allow the missile to defend broader areas from ballistic missile threats and a larger kinetic warhead. It was co-developed and is co-produced by the US and Japan. Japan also tested an SM-3 Block 1B missile. The firings were supported by the US Navy and the US Missile Defense Agency. Maya and Haguro are Japan’s newest destroyers, commissioned in 2020 and 2021 respectively, and are equipped with the Aegis Combat System.

“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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