US-Japan Alliance Digest Vol 3.11

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Publications US-Japan Alliance Digest Vol 3.11

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Image Source: Reuters

  • At Shangri-La Dialogue allies advance bilat/trilat defense initiatives
  • Inaugural bilateral defense industrial forum held in Tokyo
  • Allies boost trilat public & private economic security ties in San Diego
  • First US-Japan-South Korea Coast Guard exercise takes place
  • US, Japan lead int’l study tour in Tokyo on civilian nuclear power


  • Defense ministers from the US, Japan, and South Korea met at the Shangri-La Dialogue on May 31-June 2. With Japan, Secretary Austin highlighted the development of a glide phase interceptor and the forward stationing of the most advanced formation of US Marines. Trilaterally with South Korea, he noted real time early warning systems for North Korean missiles, and a new joint military exercise called Freedom Edge that integrates land, sea, air, cyber, and space. The three allies also committed to institutionalizing a security framework, aiming to regularize exercises, senior-level policy dialogues, and info sharing. Separately, the allies agreed to create a diplomatic body handling trilateral engagement during their meeting in “Little Washington” with US Deputy Secretary of State Kurt Campbell on May 31.
  • US Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition and Sustainment LaPlante launched the inaugural US-Japan Defense Industrial Cooperation, Acquisition, and Sustainment (DICAS) Forum in Tokyo with his Japanese counterpart, ATLA Commissioner From June 9-11, officials and business leaders convened to discuss maintaining US Navy ships at Japanese shipyards and jointly developing defense equipment. Tokyo and Washington also confirmed working groups will be set up to explore missile co-production, defense supply chain resiliency, and aircraft repair. Notably, LaPlante visited Mitsubishi Heavy Industries’ F-35 Final Assembly and Check Out facility in Aichi Prefecture.
  • The US, Japan, and South Korea met for an econ security dialogue on supply chain and emerging tech in San Diego on June 6. Senior officials from the three countries reviewed their supply chain early warning system and pledged closer cooperation. Across town, the allies along with India and the EU met for the inaugural meeting of the Biopharmaceutical Alliance during the Bio International Convention 2024. Public and private sector reps emphasized the importance of a sustainable supply chain and greater international cooperation following the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Japanese, US and South Korean coast guard vessels conducted their first trilateral drill on June 6 off Japan’s coast, practicing search and rescue operations with patrol vessels, helicopters, drones, and aircraft based on a scenario of rescuing crew members from a South Korean ship that caught fire after colliding with a US boat. The exercise follows an agreement finalized in May by the three Coast Guards to enhance their cooperation in efforts to conserve maritime resources, combat illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing, and search and rescue response.
  • The State Department and Japanese counterparts co-hosted a study tour in Japan focused on the operation and development of a safe civil nuclear power program. Supported by the Foundational Infrastructure for Responsible Use of Small Modular Technology (FIRST) program, the tour included delegates from Eurasia, Africa and Southeast Asia, and was announced by the White House at a trilateral meeting with Japan and the Philippines in April 2024. Participants toured a Hitachi-GE manufacturing site, the Ohi nuclear power station in Fukui Prefecture, and engaged with government and industry stakeholders.

“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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