Readout of Under Secretary of Defense Dr. William LaPlante's Visit to Japan


June 10, 2024

In Japanese

Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition and Sustainment (USD(A&S)) Dr. William LaPlante traveled to Tokyo, Japan to launch the Inaugural U.S. – Japan Defense Industrial Cooperation, Acquisition, and Sustainment (DICAS) Forum with his Japanese counterpart, Masaki Fukasawa, Acquisition, Technology, and Logistics Agency (ATLA) Commissioner.  Below is a readout of the week’s events:

DICAS Inaugural Meeting

On Sunday, June 9, USD(A&S) LaPlante and Commissioner Fukasawa, who serve as DICAS co-chairs, signed the Terms of Reference to restructure the Systems and Technology Forum into the DICAS. In accordance with the U.S. – Japan Joint Statement issued in April, both sides agreed to promote greater U.S. – Japan defense industrial cooperation under the DICAS and accelerate coordination towards co-development, co-production, and co-sustainment. ATLA also welcomed the publication of the National Defense Industrial Strategy (NDIS) and the Regional Sustainment Framework (RSF) by the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD).

The co-chairs concurred on the following principles to further defense industrial cooperation:

  • Making projects mutually beneficial to both sides by, including but not limited to, promoting technology transfer.
  • Each side should remain flexible in the pursuit of actions and policies enabling the advancement of our respective defense industrial bases.
  • All relevant stakeholders should work together to overcome identified challenges/hurdles.
  • DOD should work to deepen its understanding of Japanese industrial capabilities.

    USD(A&S) LaPlante and Commissioner Fukasawa also agreed to establish working groups for further discussions on identifying opportunities for missile co-production, co-sustainment of forward-deployed U.S. Navy ships and U.S. Air Force aircraft, and supply chain resiliency for priority defense requirements, in partnership with U.S. and Japanese industry.

    DICAS Industry Round Table

    On Monday, June 10, USD(A&S) LaPlante and Commissioner Fukasawa hosted a DICAS Industry Round Table with U.S. and Japanese prime contractors. USD(A&S) LaPlante provided an overview of the NDIS and RSF and both co-chairs took questions from Japanese companies.  In addition, the companies spoke about issues they have faced and their expectations for the DICAS to alleviate some of the roadblocks to cooperation. 

    At the conclusion of the Round Table, USD(A&S) LaPlante and Commissioner Fukasawa formally launched ship repair discussions, in coordination with the DICAS.  The U.S. Navy and its counterparts from ATLA and the Japanese Maritime Self Defense Forces will co-chair the Ship Repair Working Group meeting on June 11. Dr. LaPlante noted that A&S looks forward to participating in these ship repair discussions and reporting out at the next DICAS meeting.

    Visit to F-35 FACO and Regional Depot Facilities

    Following the DICAS Industry Round Table, Dr. LaPlante visited the F-35 Final Assembly and Check Out (FACO) facility and regional aircraft depot at Mitsubishi Heavy Industries’ Komaki South Plant.  Dr. LaPlante stated that he highly valued the stable operation of the F-35 FACO in Japan and steady progress of the examination toward the Maintenance, Repair, Overhaul, and Upgrade capability  and as a regional depot in the Indo-Pacific.

    Readout of Under Secretary of Defense Dr. William LaPlante's Visit to Japan(PDF)