US-Japan Alliance Digest Vol 3.8

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  • INDOPACOM Commander visits Japan ahead of command transition
  • Japanese homebuilder Sekisui House expands to 16 US states
  • Following crash of SDF helicopters at sea, US forces join the search
  • LDP’s Taro Aso discusses alliance matters with Trump in New York
  • Hall of Fame announces exhibit to honor US-Japan baseball bond


  • The leader of US Indo-Pacific Command, Admiral John Aquilino, visited Japan from April 21-23 and met with defense and political leaders ahead of his scheduled change of command on May 3, when current PACFLEET Commander Admiral Paparo will relieve Aquilino met with Prime Minister Kishida; Defense Minister Kihara; Chief of Staff, Joint Staff, General Yoshida; and other senior government and military officials to reaffirm the importance of the US-Japan strategic partnership. Regarding the recent agreement by President Biden and PM Kishida to update alliance military command relationships, Aquilino said “the integration of our two nations military to the next step like this is absolutely the right path.” General Yoshida also met with visiting US SPACECOM Commander General Whiting on April 24, where they agreed to promote initiatives to enhance bilateral and multilateral cooperation in space, starting with Space Domain Awareness and Mission Assurance.
  • After completing their $4.9 billion acquisition of Colorado based construction company MDC Holdings on April 19, Japan’s largest homebuilder, Sekisui House, is expanding its operations in the US to 16 states. When the deal was announced in January, MDC shares increased with CEO David Mandarich saying the deal offers the company new growth opportunities. Sekisui House CEO Yoshiro Nakai said, “We believe that we can become a one-of-a-kind entity in the US by combining Japanese and US technologies, and above all, sharing our passion for providing quality housing.” With the acquisition, Sekisui House will be the fifth largest homebuilder in the United States.
  • Two SH-60K Maritime Self Defense Force helicopters crashed into the sea east of the Izu islands south of Tokyo on April 21 leaving one crew member dead and seven others missing. Since 2017, two helicopter collisions in Aomori and Kagoshima have raised public concerns. Defense Minister Minoru Kihara said, “we have been providing education to ensure that lessons from past incidents are not forgotten, so it is a matter of greatest regret.” On April 23, Kihara said the US military joined the search for the crew following a meeting with US Indo-Pacific Command chief Admiral John Aquilino. Two flight recorders were recovered “at extremely close locations” and are under analysis.
  • LDP Vice President Taro Aso met former president Trump in New York on April 23. The pair discussed the importance of the US-Japan alliance to both countries’ physical and economic security and to stability in the Indo-Pacific. Aso’s visit is the latest effort by a US ally to approach Trump and Republican Party members ahead of November. The British Foreign Secretary David Cameron visited Mar-a-Lago earlier in April to discuss a range of topics including aid to Ukraine.
  • Baseball Hall of Fame (HOF) President Rawitch announced a new forthcoming Cooperstown exhibit, “Yakyu/Baseball: The Transpacific Exchange of the Game between Japan and the US.” The exhibit honoring the 150 years of cultural bonding between the two countries will open July 2025, the year MLB legend Ichiro Suzuki debuts on the HOF ballot. Former stars Hideki Matsui, Roy White, Masanori Murakami, and Warren Cromartie helped promote the new exhibit.

“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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