U.S., Japan Coast Guards Extend Joint Agreement

U.S. Coast Guard Pacific Area
U.S. Coast Guard Pacific Area
Vice Adm. Michael McAllister, commander of U.S. Coast Guard Pacific Area, Vice Adm. Yoshio Seguchi, Japan Coast Guard vice commandant for operations, and members of their staffs pose in front of the Japan Coast Guard Ship Bukou on May 18, 2022. Photo: USCG.

The U.S. and Japanese Coast Guards will work more closely together in the Indo-Pacific, thanks to the recent expansion of cooperative agreements and the creation of a new joint operation.

USCG Pacific Area Commander Vice Adm. Michael McAllister, and Vice Adm. Yoshio Seguchi, the Japan Coast Guard vice commandant for operations, were present for the document signing at a May ceremony in Tokyo.

“We rely on our partners, allies, and like-minded nations to achieve our shared missions,” McAllister said. “I am looking forward to many more decades of partnership and collaborative operations in the Indo-Pacific.”

While a memorandum of cooperation between the two have been in place since 2010, a desire to bolster relationships and bilateral engagements made expanding the memorandum necessary.

Both will be part of a new operation, SAPPHIRE, which stands for “Solid Alliance for Peace and Prosperity with Humanity and Integrity on the Rule of law-based Engagement.” Operation SAPPHIRE will include annual interactions between the two.

“We will conduct smooth cooperation in the fields of joint operation, capacity building and information sharing by this agreement” Seguchi explained. “SAPPHIRE embodies the rule-of-law based engagement between the coast guards, and we will expand the principle of (a) free and open Indo-Pacific to other nations.”