Japan-United States of America Relations

October 17, 2017
The Second Round of the Japan-U.S. Economic Dialogue 1
The Second Round of the Japan-U.S. Economic Dialogue 2
The Second Round of the Japan-U.S. Economic Dialogue 3
On October 16 (local time), commencing at 2:40 p.m. for approximately one hour and 50 minutes, Mr. Taro Aso, Deputy Prime Minister, while visiting Washington D.C., held the second round of the Japan-U.S. Economic Dialogue with the Honorable Mike Pence, Vice President of the United States of America, at the White House. Following the Dialogue, Deputy Prime Minister Aso and Vice President Pence issued a Japan-U.S. Joint Press Release (PDF). The Dialogue was attended on the U.S. side by the Honorable Wilbur Ross, Secretary of Commerce, the Honorable Steven Mnuchin, Secretary of the Treasury, the Honorable Robert Lighthizer, United States Trade Representative, H.E. Mr. William F. Hagerty, U.S. Ambassador to Japan, Mr. Everett Eissenstat, Deputy Assistant to the President for International Economic Affairs, Ms. Aiko Lane, Special Advisor to the Vice President, Ms. Joan O’Hara, Deputy National Security Adviser to the Vice President, and others; and on the Japanese side by Mr. Kenichiro Sasae, Japanese Ambassador to the United States, Mr. Kazuyuki Yamazaki, Senior Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs, Mr. Masatsugu Asakawa, Vice-Minister of Finance for International Affairs, Mr. Hiromichi Matsushima, Vice-Minister for International Affairs, Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, Mr. Tadao Yanase, Vice-Minister for International Affairs, Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, Mr. Hiroshi Tabata, Vice-Minister for International Affairs, Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism, Mr. Kanji Yamanouchi, Director-General, Economic Affairs Bureau, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Shigehiro Tanaka, Director-General, Trade Policy Bureau, Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, and others.
The overview of the Dialogue is as follows.

1 Opening Remarks

Deputy Prime Minister Aso and Vice President Pence appreciated that working-level officials from both Japan and the United States have been holding energetic discussions since the first round of the Economic Dialogue, in order to obtain concrete results along the three pillars that were confirmed at the first round of this dialogue. It was also confirmed that North Korea poses an unprecedented, grave and imminent threat, and amid the increasingly severe security environment in the Asia-Pacific region, it is important to pursue constructive dialogue from here forward in order to further deepen the Japan-U.S. economic relationship, which is of great strategic importance.

2 Common Strategy on Trade and Investment Rules / Issues

With regard to bilateral trade issues, both sides confirmed (1) that restrictions on Japanese persimmons and on U.S. potatoes from Idaho were lifted, and (2) that Japan will streamline noise and emissions testing procedures for U.S. automobile exports certified under Japan’s Preferential Handling Procedure (PHP) in the area of automobile trade. Furthermore, both sides also confirmed that Japan will (3) ensure transparency and fairness in its system for geographical indications (GIs) in accordance with its domestic law and procedures, and will (4) ensure transparency continuously with respect to reimbursement policies related to life sciences innovation.

Additionally, both sides confirmed that technical-level work is underway to strengthen  effective enforcement activities against unfair trade practices and to promote high trade and investment standards.

3 Cooperation in Economic and Structural Policies

Both sides (1) reaffirmed the active use of the three-pronged approach affirmed by the G7 members. Additionally, the two sides (2) shared recognition on the current state of the global economy and finance, including financial regulatory regimes, and that they will cooperate on the challenges, and (3) confirmed that both sides, as major shareholders in the multilateral development banks, will work closely together to promote sustainable and inclusive development, consistent with the highest international standards and debt sustainability.

4 Sectoral Cooperation

Deputy Prime Minister Aso and Vice President Pence welcomed that effective and broad-ranging discussions are taking place in working groups set up by both sides in sectors where it will be possible to promote economic benefits and job creation in both countries, and that both sides are attaining concrete achievements that are enabling the win-win relationship between Japan and the United States to be further strengthened. 

In this context, both sides confirmed they will deepen discussions in areas such as (1) cooperation in the transportation infrastructure sector, including measures to deal with infrastructure deterioration and the development of high-speed rail, increased investment and promotion of quality infrastructure through infrastructure development in third countries; (2) energy ties, including liquefied natural gas, civil nuclear energy and energy infrastructure; (3) leveling the global playing field; (4) cooperation in the digital economy; and (5) inclusive workforce participation, including women’s economic participation.

5 Concluding remarks

Deputy Prime Minister Aso and Vice President Pence welcomed that meaningful and constructive discussions had taken place. Moreover, sharing the importance of continuing the Japan-U.S. Economic Dialogue, they shared the view that the schedule for the next Dialogue will be coordinated at the working level on both sides.

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