U.S. Department of Transportation
Federal Highway Administration
1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
Washington, DC 20590
FHWA has actively participated in cooperative efforts with Japan's Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (MLIT) since 1992. There has been considerable U.S. - Japan cooperation in the area of intelligent transportation systems, and Japanese nationals have participated in an ongoing exchange program with FHWA. We have also maintained robust interactions between U.S. and Japanese bridge engineers. Cooperative activities have encompassed joint research, annual workshops, professional exchange assignments, and field studies.
FHWA works closely with MLIT's Road Bureau and the National Institute of Land, Infrastructure and Management (NILIM). Although there are some differences in background and methods, both countries share common challenges and solutions to their transportation issues. A significant element of the relationship has been involvement in bridge-related technical problems.
FHWA and Japan have held bridge workshops for more than 30 years, with significant benefits to both countries. Several of these benefits include sharing and exchange of technologies for mutual benefits, cooperative research programs, collaboration, professional networking, personnel exchanges and training, reconnaissance, and response and recovery from devastating events. The most recent workshop was held in Los Angeles in 2018. The 2020 workshop has been rescheduled for 2021 in Japan.
To commemorate the 30th anniversary of this successful collaboration, the Federal Highway Administration prepared a synthesis report documenting the results of the information exchanges. An article summarizing the collaboration was published in the May/June 2015 issue of Public Roads.
In October 2017, the importance of the relationship was reinforced when USDOT Secretary Elaine L. Chao and her Japanese counterpart, signed a Memorandum of Cooperation that focuses on current and future trends in the transportation sector, common challenges, technological opportunities, and critical policy choices and strategies.