US-Japan Alliance Digest Vol 2.8

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Publications US-Japan Alliance Digest Vol 2.8

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Image Source: Kyodo News

  • Blinken and Hayashi emphasize solidarity ahead of Hiroshima G7
  • US officials meet Japanese counterparts in G7 sideline summits
  • USTR Tai discusses stronger trade ties with officials in Tokyo
  • Japan-US maritime chiefs meet to develop closer operations
  • Two Republican governors visit Japan ahead of US campaign season


  • Secretary of State Blinken and Foreign Minister Hayashi vowed closer cooperation in upholding the rules-based international order considering Russia’s war, Chinese bullying, and North Korean missile tests. The pair pledged to further develop the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework (IPEF) and trilateral relations with South Korea. They met on the sidelines of the G7 foreign ministers summit, which reaffirmed the importance of “peace and stability” across the Taiwan Strait “as an indispensable element” of the security and prosperity of the international community. “The strength of the solidarity between the G7 foreign ministers is at a level not seen before,” said Hayashi.
  • US Climate envoy Kerry spoke with PM Kishida on expanding renewable energy efforts in Japan on April 17. Kerry offered support to Japan’s “Green Transformation” and fighting climate change. In Hokkaido, US Energy Secretary Granholm and METI Minister Nishimura signed a memorandum of commitment on geothermal energy cooperation on April 15. Volcanic Japan could get up to 90% of its energy from geothermal sources. Separately, US Amb at Large for Cyberspace and Digital Policy Fick is in Japan meeting with cyber and digital policy counterparts at the 8th US-Japan Cyber Dialogue where they will discuss bilateral cooperation after the G7 multilateral talks on digital technologies.
  • US Trade Representative Tai met Ministers Hayashi and Nishimura and others on April 14. The visit focused on addressing the climate crisis, setting international rules for the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework (IPEF), and strengthening supply chains with an emphasis on curbing human rights violations. The US hopes to broker an early agreement with Japan on IPEF ahead of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit in November. Nishimura also called on Tai to offer US consumers tax breaks for electric vehicles made by Japanese automakers. Tai’s trip included a visit to Manila, part of a broader effort to increase cooperation with allies and partners while reducing dependency on China. She insisted that the current administration’s efforts are not to decouple from China.
  • US Pacific Fleet commander Admiral Paparo met with several Japanese officials (Foreign and Defense ministries) and military officers (incl. Chief of Staff Yoshida) to discuss bilateral operations and trilateral cooperation with South Korea and further multilateral engagements to enhance interoperability and bolster regional stability. Separately, Naval Nuclear Propulsion Director, Admiral Caldwell Jr., visited the Commander in Chief of the Self Defense Fleet, Vice Admiral Saito on April 13. They discussed regional security and reviewed US nuclear propulsion safety management.
  • Florida Governor DeSantis met PM Kishida in Tokyo on April 24. The pair discussed regional tensions stemming from nearby China and North Korea. DeSantis praised Japan as a great ally and lauded the country’s military buildup plan given its “tough neighborhood.” PM Kishida underscored that the US-Japan alliance is vital to maintaining peace and stability in the region. Separately, Virginia Gov Youngkin also met PM Kishida and visited Yokota Air Base to meet with service members from his state on April 25. Both governors are possible Republican presidential candidates in 2024.

“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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