The BGA Research Team, led by BGA Head of Research Murray Hiebert, wrote an update to clients on the recent Camp David summit welcoming leaders from the United States, Japan, and Korea.


  • The leaders of the United States, Japan and Korea on August 18 attended a historic summit at the wooded Camp David retreat center outside Washington, D.C., where they advanced a three-party coalition to strengthen security and economic cooperation. U.S. President Joe Biden, Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida and Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol agreed to step up consultations on security threats, hold annual joint military exercises and increase efforts to protect against global supply chain disruptions.
  • The first stand-alone summit with Japanese and Korean leaders comes at time of increasing uncertainty in the Indo-Pacific as China becomes more assertive in the regional seas and around Taiwan, North Korea fires test ballistic missiles and the Russia-Ukraine war rages on. “This summit was not about China,” Biden told journalists after the meeting, although the joint statement said the leaders had called out China’s “dangerous and aggressive behavior” in the South China Sea. Beijing will undoubtedly find Biden’s statement unpersuasive and view the summit as another attempt by Washington and its friends to contain and encircle China.


  • Biden, Kishida and Yoon agreed to “consult” and “coordinate [their] responses to regional challenges, provocations and threats that affect [their] collective interests and security.” This agreement is not a formal mutual defense treaty like the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, which commits allies to defend each other if one is attacked.
  • The heads of state agreed to increase trilateral development finance cooperation to mobilize financing for quality infrastructure, carbon neutrality and resilient supply chains. Separately, they pledged to work collectively to support sustainable energy and promote water security and climate reliance in the Mekong River basin.


  • Japan will prioritize implementing the Camp David agreements and look to increase cooperation with the United States. This will provide Japanese and global companies new opportunities to contribute to Japan’s policy goals, such as supply chain resilience and the promotion of domestic research, development and manufacturing activities in strategic technologies, including semiconductors and batteries. Analysts believe the summit agreements will strengthen Japan’s position as a data-center hub in the Indo-Pacific and promote U.S.-Japan defense industrial cooperation.
  • Korean business leaders, who support the U.S. China policy move away from decoupling toward de-risking, seem relieved to see that China was not specifically mentioned in the summit statements this time. They are encouraged that the Biden administration has sharpened — and perhaps narrowed — its economic measures against China in recent months, including through the recent executive order restricting U.S. investment in China’s cutting-edge startups.

We will continue to keep you updated on developments in Indo-Pacific as they occur. If you have any questions or comments, please contact BGA Head of Research Murray Hiebert, BGA Japan Managing Director Kiyoaki Aburaki or BGA Korea Managing Director B.J. Kim.

Best regards, BGA Research Team