US-Japan Alliance Digest Vol 2.21

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Publications US-Japan Alliance Digest Vol 2.21

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Headlines:


Image Source: Automotive News

  • Toyota announces $8 billion investment for US EV battery plant
  • Blinken in Tokyo for G7 & bilateral dialogues on global challenges
  • Allies hold policy dialogues on humanitarian aid, energy security
  • US-Japan conclude largest integrated exercise Resolute Dragon
  • Chairman Brown in Tokyo and NEXT convenes alliance C2 workshop

Details:

  • Toyota announced an additional $8 billion for Toyota Battery Manufacturing North Carolina (TBMNC) on Oct 31. The new investment is meant to expand capacity to support battery electric vehicles (BEV’s) and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles. Sean Suggs, TBMC president, said the “announcement reinforces Toyota’s commitment to electrification and carbon reduction, bringing jobs and future economic growth to the region.” The move adds an additional 3,000 jobs to the plant and follows a $2.1 bn investment in June to expand the facility, bringing the total investment to $13.9 bn.
  • Sec of State Blinken traveled to Tokyo Nov. 7-8 for the second G7 Foreign Ministers’ Meeting of 2023. In his meeting with Prime Minister Kishida they agreed to work together to de-escalate the situation in Gaza. The pair also discussed trilateral progress with South Korea, Ukraine, and stability of the Indo-Pacific. In her meeting with Blinken, FM Kamikawa spoke about providing humanitarian aid to Gaza while condemning Hamas in the strongest possible terms.
  • The US, Japan, and South Korea met at a high-level Trilateral Development and Humanitarian Assistance Policy Dialogue in Hawaii from Oct. 29-30. In a joint statement the allies affirmed their vision of advancing Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and aligning humanitarian assistance polices. MOFA Director General Endo explained the Development Cooperation Charter revised this year and met USAID Asst. to the Administrator Ms. Sumilas for the fourth Development Dialogue to discuss Ukraine, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, SDGs, and the Global Refugee Forum. Separately, Asst. Sec. of State Pyatt met METI Director Kihara and MOFA Deputy Director General Taketani at Stanford University for the second annual Japan-US Energy Security Dialogue (ESD) on Oct. 16-18. In a joint statement, they shared their discussion on conflict driven energy market shocks, clean energy transition, and bolstering energy security.
  • The US III Marine Expeditionary Force and joint forces concluded the largest ever integrated training with the Japan Ground Self-Defense Force on Oct. 31. The two-week long joint training operation involved live-fire drills, logistical integration, and combined support drills in Hokkaido and the southwest islands. Operations officer Maj. David Vanrooy said it emphasizes that US and Japanese units can seamlessly integrate as a partner force. The Philippines and Australia sent military observers to enhance joint response for future contingencies in the Western Pacific. Visiting the Hokkaido training area, Amb. Emanuel emphasized the bond and strength that defines the US-Japan alliance. Separately, as bulk buys began for a US seafood import initiative to help offset China’s ban on Japan’s seafood, Emmanuel said the best way to undermine China’s economic coercion is to come to the aid and assistance of the targeted country or industry.
  • US General Charles Brown, new Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, met his counterpart General Yoshida in Tokyo Nov. 10, as the two exchanged views on how to coordinate effectively the counterattack capabilities that Japan’s SDF will acquire under a new permanent joint command for the Ground, Maritime and Air SDF to be set up in early 2025. Brown also met with PM Kishida. Separately, the NEXT Alliance Initiative convened a 2-day bilat workshop in Annapolis involving retired and current officials and military officers to discuss possible future modernization of alliance command & control arrangements.

“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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