Happy New Year Headlines:
- “Japanuary” in DC headlined by Biden-Kishida Summit
- Alliance “2+2” meeting in DC sets ambitious agenda for 2023
- METI Minister meets US counterparts in DC, signs cyber agreement
- Japanese lawmakers discuss US-Japan relations across Washington
- President Biden and Prime Minister Kishida held a bilateral summit meeting in Washington January 13, capping an unusually busy two weeks of high-level alliance diplomacy. The lead up to this summit involved numerous agreements and joint projects (highlighted below) including a new Space Framework Agreement signed at NASA headquarters. The leaders’ Joint Statement referenced the CoRe Partnership, Economic 2+2, and the Indo-Pacific Framework, among other items. Kishida also met with Vice President Harris and gave a public speech at Johns Hopkins SAIS.
- US Secretaries of State (Blinken) and Defense (Austin) met with Japanese Ministers for Foreign Affairs (Hayashi) and Defense (Hamada) in Washington on January 11 to convene the US-Japan Security Consultative Committee (or 2+2). Their joint statement reflected “the convergence of their nations’ new national security and defense strategies” and outlined an ambitious agenda for the next couple of years including the reorganization of the US 12th Marine Regiment in Japan to become a Marine Littoral Regiment (MLR) by 2025 with more significant surveillance, anti-ship, and transportation capabilities. They also agreed to establish a US Composite Watercraft Company at Yokohama North Dock from where it can move military personnel and equipment from both countries in support of amphibious operations. They also finalized agreements on defense technology research and development, a Security of Supply Arrangement, and affirmed that Article V of their Security Treaty could apply to assets in space, among other moves.
- METI Minister Yasutoshi Nishimura met Commerce Secretary Raimondo in Washington January 5. The pair discussed expanding cooperation on critical technologies and mitigating economic vulnerabilities. They agreed to take cooperation beyond next generation semiconductor R&D and into AI and biotech. Separately, Nishimura met with Homeland Security Secretary Mayorkas on January 6 to continue dialogue on cybersecurity cooperation and human rights issues along supply chains. They signed an updated agreement on cybersecurity cooperation to further operational collaboration, enhance critical infrastructure, and foster new partnerships Asia. He also gave a speech at CSIS and met with Energy Secretary Granholm on January 9 to discuss a range of topics within energy security from renewables and clean energy to the energy agenda for Japan’s hosting of the G7 Summit and related meetings in 2023.
- In the days leading up to the “2+2” on January 11 and the Biden-Kishida summit on January 13, several Japanese lawmakers visited Washington and gave talks at multiple think tanks. At the CSIS, Digital Minister Kono spoke on the topic of digital transformation, as Japan places it at the head of its policy agenda. Former Defense Minister Onodera lectured at the Stimson Center on three new security and defense strategy documents. Separately, Honorable Hirofumi Nakasone led a delegation of Japanese lawmakers to meet US members of Congress, in addition to visiting local businesses, government offices, and think tanks (including Sasakawa USA). Among the delegates was the Honorable Iwao Horii, who spoke on January 11 at Sasakawa Peace Foundation USA about the recently released National Security Strategy and Japan’s future defense posture.
“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.