Japan, U.S. hold economic "two-plus-two" talks with eye on China

Japan and the United States on Tuesday held "two-plus-two" ministerial talks to discuss economic and diplomatic cooperation in pursuit of deeper economic security amid China's assertive behavior in the Indo-Pacific region.

The second round of the "two-plus-two" meeting comes as the four ministers -- Japanese foreign chief Yoko Kamikawa and industry minister Yasutoshi Nishimura, as well as U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo -- are in San Francisco for a gathering of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum.

They are expected to work out the specifics of bilateral cooperation based on a four-pillar agreement reached in July 2022 which looks to promote the rules-based economic order and to counter economic coercion and unfair lending practices, as well as to promote and secure critical technologies, and strengthen supply chains.

The longtime security allies share the position that deeper coordination is needed to build more robust supply chains for critical products required for national security, such as semiconductors, and to address China's utilization of economic means including trade restrictions to achieve its goals, known as economic coercion.

Japan and the United States have been building on their alliance to better cope with threats posed by artificial intelligence and quantum technology along with China's pursuit of advanced dual-use military-civil technologies.

Their shared vision of a "free and open" Indo-Pacific is at the center of bilateral cooperation at a time when the United States is bolstering its engagement in the region, where China is expanding its sphere of influence with assertive moves.

© Kyodo News