- Partnering & alliance modernization themes in Tokyo, Singapore
- US-Japan-Australia to fund new undersea cable in Micronesia
- US-Japan-Philippines hold 1st Coast Guard drills near South China Sea
- USDA Under Secretary brings US agribusinesses trade mission to Japan
- Nat’l Security Advisor Sullivan meets multiple counterparts in Tokyo
- Defense Secretary Austin met individually with PM Kishida, Defense Minister Hamada, Foreign Minister Hayashi, and National Security Advisor Akiba in Tokyo on June 1. Austin and Hamada discussed updating force posture, modernizing alliance roles, boosting cooperation on advanced technologies, and networking with like-minded partners. Austin praised Japan’s defense reforms, Reciprocal Access Agreements with the UK and Australia, and said the US-Japan alliance was more “versatile, resilient, and mobile.” A few days later in Singapore, Austin and Hamada met trilaterally with Australian and South Korean counterparts (agreeing in the latter to share real-time warning data on North Korean missile launches “before the end of the year”), and in a quad with Australia and the Philippines. The Chiefs of Defense from Japan and the Philippines also met trilaterally with US Indo-PACOM Commander Admiral Aquilino in Singapore. Also, US Army Secretary Wormuth said June 15 that the US is in talks to deploy a ‘multi-domain’ army unit in Japan.
- Japan announced on June 6 that it would join the US and Australia in developing a $95 million undersea cable in Micronesia. The 1400-mile cable will connect 100,000 people across several island states to an existing cable in Pohnpei. The NEC-led grant-funded project, set for completion in 2025, follows a joint statement by members of the Quad at Hiroshima G7 on the importance of supporting undersea cable networks throughout the Indo-Pacific.
- US, Japan, and Philippines Coast Guard vessels conducted first-ever joint training near the South China Sea from June 1-7. The exercises involved over 500 Coast Guard personnel in waters off the Philippines’ Bataan province. The Japan patrol vessel JCGS Akitsushima and the USCGC Stratton arrived in the Bay of Manila on June 1. The law enforcement drills included a mock interception of a vessel carrying weapons of mass destruction.
- USDA Under Secretary Taylor led a US Agribusiness Trade Mission to Japan from June 5-8. Taylor brought agriculture department officials from 11 states, numerous farm organizations, and 40 agribusiness representatives. The USDA facilitated 427 meetings between small and medium-sized US agribusinesses and Japanese buyers, industry groups, and local prefecture government officials. Participants included proponents of the US potato industry pushing for greater market access. The US has been able to export fresh potatoes for processing to Japan since 2006, but restrictions remain on direct consumption, and US lawmakers in May pushed for more access. Taylor noted Japan imported a record $14.6 billion of US food and agriculture products in 2022 and projected sales gains in the future.
- White House National Security Advisor Sullivan traveled to Tokyo for a series of meetings with counterparts from Japan, the Philippines, and South Korea. During his two-day visit, Sullivan participated in the first-ever trilateral meeting between Japanese, Philippine, and US national security advisors. Sullivan also met with South Korea and Japan’s national security advisors for a trilateral meeting, as well as separate bilateral meetings to discuss issues of mutual security interest including North Korea, maritime and economic security, and regional peace and stability.
“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.