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US, Japan Ink Defense Research and Supply Agreements

The US and Japan have signed two bilateral agreements for technological research and supply chains to support the alliance’s defense.

The agreements seal a Research, Development, Test, and Evaluation Projects memorandum of understanding (RDT&E MOU) and a Security of Supply Arrangement (SOSA).

US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and Japanese Defense Minister Hamada Yasukazu signed the confirmations during a meeting in Washington, DC.

Maintaining Technologies, Preparing Supply Chains

The RDT&E MOU focuses on future collaborations to maintain advanced defense technologies such as autonomous systems, high-power microwaves, and counter-hypersonics.

Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III speaks with Japanese Defense Minister Yasukazu Hamada during a bilateral exchange at the Pentagon Washington, D.C., Jan 12, 2023. (DoD photo by U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Jack Sanders)
Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III and Japanese Defense Minister Yasukazu Hamada signing bilateral agreements. Photo: Tech. Sgt. Jack Sanders/USAF

It also simplifies the US and Japan’s existing Project for Cooperative Research MOU to adjust current laws, policies, and practices.

Meanwhile, the non-binding SOSA integrates the US and Japanese defense agencies within a “streamlined mechanism” for the rapid exchange of mutual requests for industrial resources during unexpected supply chain disruptions.

‘Consequential Moment’

“Today, I am delighted for Minister Hamada and I to sign two defense enabling arrangements to increase our opportunities for expanded and deepened cooperation on advanced technologies and defense supply chains,” Austin stated during the signing.

“To support US forces and enhance Alliance cooperation towards these ends, the United States and Japan must focus our efforts to collaborate on sharpening the competitive edge of the Alliance to meet future force requirements and sustained logistics.

“This is a consequential moment for Japan and the US-Japan alliance as we embark on new forms of cooperation together.”

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