U.S. and Japan To Launch Combined Arms Production, Deepening Ties for INDOPACOM War

As this publication reported in February, the government of Japan agreed to repair U.S. Navy vessels at its domestic shipyards in the event of a war in the Pacific, significantly deepening bi-lateral ties in the face of a growing Chinse threat. Today, those ties are deepening even further.

Press Call Before Tri-Lateral Meeting

According to the White House, the United States and Japan have agreed to launch a military industrial council to evaluate co-production of military capabilities. In a video teleconference between press and senior Biden Administration officials preluding the official visit of Japanese Prime Minister Kishida Fumio, the following statement was made:

“we’re going to have a military industrial council that will evaluate where we can (inaudible) and co-produce defense weapons. And so, Japan’s industrial capacity and strength that had always been on the sidelines will come to bear on one of the weak points right now that we have, which is we don’t have really the bandwidth on the defense production capacity that we need for our strategic applications.”

The call also outlined how the United States is seeking to “flip the script” on China which they say has been attempting to isolate the Philippines and Japan through increasingly aggressive military maneuvers in the South China Sea and the Sea of Japan. This tri-lateral security alliance, which includes bi-lateral defense guarantees is the U.S.’ primary bid for overpowering China in the First Island China.

Simultaneous Operations and Messaging in INDOPACOM 

These comments were in addition to U.S. Ambassador to Japan Emanuel’s comments to CNBC today that U.S. INDOPACOM and U.S. Forces Japan are launching a new military command structure which will focus on utilizing Japan’s Joint Military Command Center. This command center was announced in 2023 and is set to launch in March 2025. The United States will undoubtedly play a large role in that command center where the Japanese Self-Defense Forces will bring their entire military command structure under one roof for greater command and control and coordination.

These comments come one day before a tri-lateral conference between President Biden, Prime Minister Fumio, and Philippines President Marcos in Washington on Thursday, April 11th, 2024. This announcement also comes the same morning as the U.S. and the Philippines launch bilateral Cope Thunder joint exercise, involving around 700 servicemembers in areas including Basa Air Base in Pampanga until April 19. This is in addition to the planned Exercise Balikatan in Batanes from April 25th to May 9th which will include U.S. HIMARS insertion.

These announcements over the last year demonstrate the United States’ colossal undertaking to share defense burdens with regional allies in order to counter China. The primary partners are the Philippines and Japan due to historical relations and organic capability. However, the U.S. also looks to build greater ties with other nations that have interests in the South China Sea, especially Vietnam.

United States Military Academy and American Military University Alumni. Victor covers flash military, intelligence, and geo-political updates.


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