January 2023-Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III and Japan Minister of Defense HAMADA Yasukazu signed the bilateral Memorandum of Understanding for Research, Development, Test and Evaluation Projects (RDT&E) and a bilateral, non-binding Security of Supply Arrangement (SOSA) between the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) and Japanese Ministry of Defense (MOD)

The RDT&E MOU is a legally binding agreement in which DoD and MOD commit to increasing opportunities for U.S.-Japanese collaboration on emerging technology to improve defence capabilities. The MOU will support the Alliance’s efforts to maintain its technological edge in critical and emerging technologies, such as high-power microwaves, autonomous systems, and counter-hypersonics. The MOU also updates the Project for Cooperative Research (PCR) MOU to simplify processes as well as adjust for current laws, policies, and standards of practice for United States-Japan for RDT&E activities.

Through the SOSA, the United States and Japan agree to exchange reciprocal priority support for goods and services that promote national defence. The arrangement creates a streamlined mechanism for DoD and MOD to request expedited handling of industrial resources to resolve unanticipated supply chain disruptions to meet national security needs.

Secretary Austin and Minister Hamada signed the RDT&E MOU and the SOSA at a ceremony at the Pentagon on the margins of the U.S.-Japan Security Consultative Committee (“2+2”), which occurred at the Department of State on January 11, 2023.

“Today, I am delighted for Minister Hamada and I to sign two defence-enabling arrangements to increase our opportunities for expanded and deepened cooperation on advanced technologies and defence supply chains,” said Secretary Austin. “To support U.S. 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 U.S.-Japan Alliance as we embark on new forms of cooperation together.”

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