US-Japan Alliance Digest Vol 1.6

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Publications US-Japan Alliance Digest Vol 1.6

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Headlines


Image Source: The Japan Times
  • US and Japan team up to send military supplies to Ukraine
  • US & Japanese governments agree on beef safeguard restrictions
  • US officials praise Hitachi for train investment in Maryland
  • US and Japanese troops conduct new type of joint exercises
  • Emanuel-Kishida pay respects in Hiroshima, warn of nuclear danger

Details

  • At Yokota Air Base in Japan on March 16, American and Japanese service members loaded 38 tons of Japanese non-lethal military supplies onto American C-17 cargo aircraft bound for Ukraine. This marks the first such US transfer of Japanese military equipment to a third country. Since Russia’s invasion began nearly one month ago, Tokyo has made a series of policy changes including amending its refugee policy and planning to enact legislation in June that will revoke Russia’s most favored trade status. President Biden and Prime Minister Kishida both attended a G7 summit in Brussels on March 24, when each country announced additional aid for Ukraine.
  • The US and Japanese governments agreed on March 24 to increase the trigger level for “safeguard restrictions” on Japan’s imports of US beef, bringing the rules that apply to US beef exporters more in line with those of other countries involved in the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) regional trade deal. The new safeguard level will allow for a larger volume of US beef exports to Japan before higher tariffs are assessed. The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative announced the agreement.
  • On March 21, Hitachi Rail announced plans for a $70 million manufacturing facility in Hagerstown, Maryland. The factory will help fulfil a $2.2 billion contract with DC Metro for 256 subway cars fitted with the latest technology including heated floors and regenerative braking systems. It will begin operation by 2024 and employ about 1,800 workers. The 307,000 sq ft facility will be able to produce trams, metro and high-speed rail cars at a rate of 20 cars per month. US Ambassador in Japan Rahm Emanuel thanked CEO Higashihara and said Hitachi’s new facility was a win for the environment and the American worker. The latest announcement is just a small part of the roughly $640 billion that Japan invests each year in the United States.
  • Around 1,000 Japanese and Americans amphibious troops conducted joint airborne assault exercises near Mount Fuji in a first for this type of exercise on March 15 in a show of deepening military cooperation between the two countries. Japan’s Amphibious Rapid Deployment Brigade (ARDB) conducted combat drills alongside US Marines, which retired USMC Colonel and former liaison officer to Japan, Grant Newsom, called “unthinkable a decade ago.” The ARDB use helicopters, Osprey tilt-rotor aircraft, and landing craft to recapture islands and are tasked with the protection of Japan’s southwestern islands.
  • Ambassador Emanuel met Prime Minister Kishida in his hometown of Hiroshima on March 26 to pay respects to victims of the atomic bomb. The meeting came amid concerns about Russian nuclear threats, as the war in Ukraine enters its second month. Ambassador Emanuel was moved by his trip and said it was unconscionable for any nation to make a nuclear threat. Kishida expressed hope that their experience of seeing the nuclear reality could “become a strong message to the international society.”

“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 egulum@spfusa.org

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