Asia St: Japan-US Summit Bolsters Security and Economic Ties

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Japan-US Summit Bolsters Security and Economic Ties

May 24, 2022

(Photo Credit: White House Twitter Account).

The BGA Japan team, led by Managing Director Kiyo Aburaki, wrote an update to clients on the May 23 summit meeting between U.S. President Joe Biden and Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida.

Context

  • S. President Joe Biden and Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida held a summit meeting in Tokyo on May 23 where they agreed to strengthen the U.S.-Japan alliance in both security and economic areas.
  • The summit was held amid several shared challenges and a favorable domestic environment for Kishida. Both sides planned to take steps to address Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the North Korean missile crisis and unilateral actions China has taken that have upset the status quo in the East and South China seas. Kishida has gained strong public support for his policies of tougher sanctions against Russia and higher defense spending.

Significance

  • The two leaders reaffirmed U.S.-Japan defense cooperation, backed by an array of capabilities — including nuclear — in anticipation of threats from China and North Korea. Kishida signaled he would consider all options necessary for Japan’s defense and to fundamentally bolster its capabilities. Biden welcomed the opportunity to strengthen bilateral cooperation in the face of an increasingly challenging security environment.
  • Biden and Kishida also agreed to launch a joint task force to develop next-generation semiconductors and discussed the role of U.S. natural gas production and the importance of promoting clean energy, especially in developing countries. They also confirmed the doubling of Japan’s demand for bioethanol by 2030 and plans to develop innovative nuclear reactors and small modular reactors for global deployment.

Implications

  • Companies can expect these agreements to provide new opportunities in a range of sectors including climate, energy, defense and technology.
  • The alliance will continue to take shape amid a dynamic Indo-Pacific environment. This includes the development of the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue (“Quad”) which groups Tokyo and Washington along with India and Australia and the evolving Indo-Pacific Economic Framework (IPEF). Meetings for both were held in Tokyo, reflecting the alliance’s important regional role. Japan will also host the 2023 Group of Seven (G-7) Summit in Hiroshima.

BGA will continue to keep you updated on developments in Japan as they occur. If you have any comments or questions, please contact BGA Japan Managing Director Kiyoaki Aburaki at kaburaki@bowergroupasia.com.