After the summit meeting, the U.S. and Japanese governments are coordinating to issue a joint document. The joint document will focus on three areas: 1) security, 2) climate change issues, and 3) economic cooperation such as supply chains and new technologies.
The Biden administration’s main aim is to confirm the strong cooperation between the U.S. and Japanese alliances in forming a siege against China. The joint document also addresses concerns about the importance of peace and security in the Taiwan Strait and the human rights situation in Hong Kong and Xinjiang. It also clearly states the application of Article 5 of the Japan-U.S. Security Treaty, which establishes the U.S. defense obligations to Japan, Okinawa Prefecture, and the Senkaku Islands.
However, at the meeting, “concrete discussions are not likely to surface” (government and ruling party officials) regarding the details of Japan’s activities in the Taiwan strait and the Senkaku Islands.
On the issue of climate change, we will confirm cooperation in the field of renewable energy ahead of the climate change summit scheduled for August 22. The Japanese government is discussing a 26% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions in 2030 from 2013 levels and will share the direction. Cooperation with Japan will also be discussed in expanding renewable energy in the United States.
In order to ensure the complexity of the supply chain, we will also collaborate on semiconductors, rare metals, and rare earth procurement. Cooperation will also be confirmed in the fields of next-generation communication 5G and artificial intelligence (AI).
Risk of impact on Japanese companies
Since the inauguration of the Biden administration, Kan’s side has set a goal of an early visit to the United States. The approval rating of the Cabinet, which was at a high level when he took office in September last year, plummeted due to the spread of the new coronavirus infection and a series of scandals. As the political situation since the spring has been addressed, preparations have been made carefully, including the Japan-U.S. Foreign and Defense Ministerial Conference (2 plus 2). It is said that it is “a diplomatic achievement in itself” (a senior ruling party official) to be able to realize a face-to-face meeting with the U.S. president before British Prime Minister Johnson.
However, while achieving results, the focus will be on the debate over China. At the Japan-U.S. 2 plus 2 meeting held in Tokyo in March, the U.S. and Japan expressed their concerns about the human rights situation in Hong Kong and Xinjiang in a document. Shortly after, china’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs sharply denounced Japan as a “strategic country.”
There are concerns within the administration that Japan “could be sanctioned by the United States” if Japan avoids a clear in-document condemnation as Western countries impose sanctions against China over human rights issues. In the government, the quantity and the quality of the trade between Japan, the United States, and the United States are analyzed, and there is a view that “Even if China imposes import restrictions etc. from Japan, it becomes an obstacle to China due to the lack of high-tech parts procurement of Japan” (same).
On the other hand, Natsuo Yamaguchi, leader of the Komeito Party, said on The 13th, “Japan and China have a broad, long and deep relationship, including manufacturing and distribution. I want the (Japan-U.S. leaders’ meeting) to be fruitful, with consideration in mind that the interests and national interests of Japanese companies will not be greatly damaged.”
Shunsuke Kobayashi, a chief economist at Mizuho Securities, said, “If we can avoid participation in economic sanctions against China similar to each other in the United States and Europe, we will be spared the joint foreclosure of Japanese companies and the suspension of exports of important parts from Japan to China.” On the other hand, “if the issue of Human Rights in China is clearly stated in the joint document, there may be various effects, such as the non-purchase movement in China for consumer-related companies,” the analysis said.