U.S. and Japan begin economic dialogue to confront China and Russia

U.S. and Japan begin economic dialogue to confront China and Russia

The U.S. and Japan announced Friday a new economic dialogue aimed at countering China and the effects of the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

According to Japanese press reports, the two-plus-two meeting of trade ministers and heads of diplomatic departments, which began today in Washington, was to reach an agreement on joint research on next-generation semiconductors.

The meeting was attended by Secretary of State Anthony Blinken, U.S. Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo, and Japanese Foreign Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi and Commerce Secretary Koichi Hagiuda.

“It is critical for the world’s first and third largest economies that we work together to defend a rules-based economic order in which all countries can participate, compete and prosper,” Blinken said at the opening session.

The secretary of state said recent world events, including the COVID-19 pandemic and the war in Ukraine, have demonstrated the vulnerability of critical supply chains, while a growing number of countries have faced increased debt burdens due to opaque lending practices.

“The People’s Republic of China’s coercive and repressive economic practices are forcing countries to make choices that jeopardize their security, their intellectual property and their economic independence,” Blinken said.

Yoshimasa Hayashi called Russia’s invasion of Ukraine a serious challenge to the international order and, clearly referring to Beijing, said attempts to “unfairly and non-transparently use economic influence to pursue strategic interests” and change the existing international order.

“To deal with this effectively, it is important to discuss foreign policy and economic policy as a whole, rather than discussing them separately,” Hayashi said.

Japan’s Nikkei Shimbun newspaper reports that a semiconductor development center will be established in Japan by the end of this year to research semiconductor chips made using 2-nanometer technology.

Semiconductor production is due to begin in 2025, and the agreement to establish the center will be included in a statement to be released after today’s meeting.