- VP Harris visits Japan for Abe funeral and to advance alliance priorities
- US avoids trade fight, rules no tariffs on rare earth magnets
- NY and Tokyo based stock exchanges announce collaboration
- Allies meet to denounce change in international status quo
- Japan restores visa free travel as pandemic recedes
- Vice President Harris joined world leaders in Tokyo on September 27 for the funeral of former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. Harris met with PM Kishida the day prior where she extended her condolences and discussed alliance cooperation on issues including space, Taiwan, and economic security. In Japan Harris also visited Yokosuka Naval Base and gave remarks aboard the USS Howard (DDG-83) Aegis destroyer. She also convened a meeting with Japanese executives of the semiconductor industry on September 28 to discuss the Biden administration’s efforts to boost new technology research following the signing of the CHIPS and Science Act. She emphasized Japan’s central role in bolstering supply chain resiliency and investing in future innovation. She underscored the idea that no one country can satisfy global demand and that only through collaboration will allied nations be able to stave off future economic disruptions.
- President Biden said on September 21 the US would not restrict imports of neodymium (rare earth) magnets. This follows a 270-day investigation and avoids a trade dispute on these vital technology components imported from China, Japan, and Europe. The Commerce Department estimates that domestic sources can only fulfill half the demand for four years and the US is dependent on imports to meet its needs. But, instead of slapping tariffs on imports the strategy will be to invest to get ahead of the projected demand growth in the coming years while reducing reliance on China. Japan had argued against the tariffs and could be a valuable partner for building more reliable supply chains.
- The New York (NYSE) and Tokyo (TSE) Stock Exchanges announced a joint effort to support cross-border investment between the US and Japan. They agreed to collaborate in areas of project development, marketing, and information sharing. NYSE President Martin said that PM Kishida’s attendance at the signing ceremony in New York underscores the role that public companies have in both nations. TSE President Yamaji said he hopes the relationship enhances diversity of investment products and strengthens cooperation on information dissemination.
- On September 22, the chief diplomats from the US, Japan, and South Korea met in New York to discuss the security environment in East Asia and vowed to stand together against any attempts to change the status quo by force. China’s military pressure on Taiwan, along with North Korea’s recent missile launch and passing of looser nuclear strike doctrine, raise concerns about an increasingly unstable region. Separately, the trio (Blinken, Hayashi, and Park) said any North Korean nuclear test would be met with a strong and resolute response from the international community. They also pledged to broaden trilateral cooperation beyond North Korea to address regional and global challenges.
- Prime Minister Kishida announced from the New York Stock Exchange that Japan will roll back the country’s Covid border controls from October 11. The move comes as the virus is becoming less dangerous and after most other countries have also lifted travel restrictions. Visa-free travel from many countries will now be possible for short stays, allowing businesspeople and tourists to benefit from a weak Yen that reached nearly ¥145/$1 before the Bank of Japan intervened. Japan hosted about 32 million visitors in 2019. That number fell to just under 250,000 in 2021.
“US-Japan Alliance Digest” is a bi-weekly summary of bilateral and related developments compiled by Sasakawa USA’s “US-Japan NEXT Alliance Initiative.” To receive “Alliance Digest” via email, contact email@example.com.