TOKYO, Japan --
Chief of Space Operations Gen. Chance Saltzman and Chief Master Sgt. of the Space Force John Bentivegna traveled to Japan Sep. 21-26 to support modernizing the U.S.-Japan Alliance and bolstering integrated deterrence through enhanced space security cooperation.
Saltzman and Bentivegna met with Minister of Defense Minoru Kihara in Tokyo. Additionally, Saltzman attended meetings with Chief of Staff, Japan Self-Defense Forces Joint Staff, Gen. Yoshihide Yoshida; Chief of Staff, Japan Air Self-Defense Forces, Gen. Hiroaki Uchikura, and Dr. Hiroshi Yamakawa, President, Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA). Saltzman also visited Fuchu Air Base, where he met with Commander, JASDF Space Operations Group, Col. Kimitoshi Sugiyama.
Bentivegna also met with Senior Enlisted Advisor to the Chief of Staff, JSDF Joint Staff, Warrant Officer Osamu Kai, and Senior Enlisted Advisor to the JASDF Chief of Staff, Warrant Officer Hiroyasu Kochaku.
Throughout these meetings, the leaders reaffirmed the critical importance of the U.S.-Japan Alliance as a cornerstone of peace, stability, and prosperity in the Indo-Pacific region, and emphasized the value of space cooperation to helping the Alliance meet new and emerging threats.
The two sides reviewed progress on bilateral cooperative efforts, including the inaugural Space Engagement Talks in July and U.S. use of Japan’s future deep space radar. They also explored ways to strengthen cooperation in areas such as satellite communications and research and development.
The leaders further discussed increasing partnership activities that deepen interoperability, including through space education, training, and exercises. They additionally agreed to continue advocating for international norms of behavior in space.
Saltzman and Bentivegna commended Japan’s resolve to bolster its defense capabilities through greater investment, stronger information security, and increased cooperation with partners in the Indo-Pacific and beyond. The two leaders underscored that these approaches would contribute to a more resilient space architecture and help address shared regional and global security challenges.
During the trip, Saltzman also met with Commander, U.S. Forces Japan, Lt. Gen. Ricky N. Rupp. Bentivegna also met with USFJ Command Senior Enlisted Leader Chief Master Sgt. Leon O. Calloway and Fifth Air Force Command Chief Master Sgt. Shawn M. Aiello.