June 21, 2024

Secretary Antony J. Blinken, Secretary of Commerce Gina M. Raimondo, Japanese Foreign Minister Kamikawa Yoko, And Japanese Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry Nishimura Yasutoshi Before Their Meeting

Secretary Antony J. Blinken, Secretary of Commerce Gina M. Raimondo, Japanese Foreign Minister Kamikawa Yoko, And Japanese Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry Nishimura Yasutoshi Before Their Meeting

FOREIGN MINISTER KAMIKAWA:  (Via interpreter) I would like to mention three points.  First of all, the strengthening and maintenance of the economic order in the Indo-Pacific. 

I apologize.

As the host of the second Economic 2+2 Ministerial Meeting, I welcome you all and I’m glad we’re able to have this meeting.  Secretary Blinken, thank you very much for the close communication we have been maintaining on a routine basis.  Secretary Raimondo, following the IPEF Ministerial this morning, it’s a pleasure to see you again and to continue on with our discussions.

Protracted aggression of Ukraine by Russia; unstable and vulnerable supply chain; global energy and food crisis; and on top of that, the current situation between Israel and Palestine – these are some of the mounting issues the international community faces.  At the same time, however, partnership between likeminded countries is steadily advancing, as seen in the delivery of a strong message at the G7 Hiroshima Summit, coordination of policy on AI governance, and cooperation over semiconductors. 

I look forward to discussing with you today the direction for Japan and the U.S. to proceed as we strive to strengthen a rules-based economic order in this region and, at the same time, to elevate resilience of both countries.

MODERATOR:  Thank you. 

Next, Minister Nishimura, please.

ECONOMY MINISTER NISHIMURA:  (Via interpreter) Once again, I am (inaudible) Minister Nishimura Yasutoshi.  As you heard, diplomacy, security policy, and economic policies are nowadays inseparable.  Based on this notion, we are meeting today at the second meeting of Economic 2+2 that Prime Minister Kishida and President Biden created last year.  We are very glad to be here.

Besides next-generation semiconductors and quantum, AI, biotech, and other critical emerging technologies, supply chain resiliency of critical minerals, and batteries and energy security, over one year – thanks to this Economic 2+2 Japan and United States partnership – were able to expand into a new domain.

Well, Secretary Raimondo, I have met you many times and we have conversed over telephone many times and have had a frequent exchange.  Once again, thank you for that, Madam Secretary.

And hence, seeing the prolongation of Russia’s aggression, tension in Middle East, geopolitical risks are rising and moves to use economic interdependency as weapons as well as market-distorting measures are the new challenges that we are faced with; in transparent and opaque way to counter attempts to enhance competitiveness in opaque and unfair way; and to control the market, likeminded countries should go beyond the industrial sector demarcation and cooperate through alignment in the actual policy.

This kind of totally new approach is needed.  Japan and U.S., we share the universal value to jointly tackle threat to economic order, and converge in resilient economic security will be a foundation going beyond our bilateral relationship, and this will surely bring peace and prosperity vitally to the Indo-Pacific.  This is my firm belief.

I am looking forward to a frank discussion today with you, and let us send a powerful message to the rest of the world for San Francisco in united manner.  Thank you.

MODERATOR:  Thank you, Minister. 

Next, Secretary Blinken, please. 

SECRETARY BLINKEN:  Well, thank you very much, colleagues.  It’s very good to be with you.  Our alliance between the United States and Japan has long been a cornerstone for regional peace, security, and prosperity, but I think we are taking it to a new level across all domains.  And the more we’re able to align our economic, our technological, and other key strategies to build an allied industrial base, supply chains, industries of the future, the more we are going to maximize our ability to deliver for our people across the board in what they need and are looking for.

This has been a remarkable year for our alliance.  We had, of course, the prime minister’s visit to Washington, President Biden’s visit to Hiroshima for the G7, and then the historic Camp David summit.  We’ve also had important outcomes from your G7 presidency, and I was very appreciative of the last session, Yoko, that you – that you chaired in Japan; also our APEC host year that we’re completing now; IPEF; as well as the Quad Leaders’ Meeting. 

Our countries are working to advance a rules-based economic order to counter economic coercion and to allow innovation to thrive.  These issues matter for the United States.  They matter for Japan.  They matter for our many partners in the Indo-Pacific and well beyond.  And indeed, our alliance, our partnership is not just bilateral, it’s not just regional, it’s genuinely global.  That alliance – our Economic 2+2 – we see as force multipliers for strengthening a free, open, prosperous Indo-Pacific. 

So it’s very good to be with you.

SECRETARY RAIMONDO:  Thank you.  Thank you, colleagues.  It is wonderful to be here with all of you, and it’s an honor for me to join this 2+2.  The 2+2 allows our nations to discuss the most pressing challenges that we share and to collaborate and solve problems together and find opportunities to yield real benefits for our economies and the citizens of both of our nations.

We’re working together to counter the use of economic coercion, as has been said, by state actors; to promote and protect critical and emerging technologies like artificial intelligence, cyber, semiconductors, quantum computing, biotechnology; and to tighten alignment on export controls in the wake of Russia’s brutal war of aggression against Ukraine.

We’re also rapidly increasing our efforts to strengthen our semiconductor supply chain – Minister Nishimura and I spoke about this earlier – and promote the development of clean technologies very much to the benefit of both of our nations.

I want to thank both of you for your strong support of the IPEF.  We had an excellent ministerial earlier today, closing out the three pillars of the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework.  So thank you both, especially Minister Nishimura who’s been working on this with me for some time. 

As Secretary Blinken said, our relationship has never been stronger.  The U.S.-Japan relationship has never been stronger, and I am confident that our cooperation will bring even greater opportunity and prosperity to the Indo-Pacific region.  So thank you. 

MODERATOR:  Thank you very much, Secretary Raimondo.

Official news published at https://www.state.gov/secretary-antony-j-blinken-secretary-of-commerce-gina-m-raimondo-japanese-foreign-minister-kamikawa-yoko-and-japanese-minister-of-economy-trade-and-industry-nishimura-yasutoshi-before-their-meet/