Tokyo, Japan and the United States of America have decided to launch regular ministerial talks on economic and environmental issues in an attempt to boost bilateral cooperation, Kyodo quoted government sources as saying.
The launch of the framework, akin to the so-called two-plus-two security talks involving the countries’ foreign and defense chiefs, is expected to be agreed by Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida and U.S. President Joe Biden when they hold a virtual summit later in the day, according to the Japanese government sources.
The four members of the new dialogue framework will be Japan’s foreign and industry ministers and the U.S. state and commerce secretaries, the sources said.
Japan and the United States are promoting a “free and open” Indo-Pacific. The economy-focused two-plus-two framework is expected to take up infrastructure investment, economic security, green energy, trade and other issues, the sources said.
Safeguarding national interests on the economic front is a priority for Kishida, who took office in October. Japan and longtime security ally the United States have been seeking to strengthen cooperation to make supply chains more robust.
Kishida had hoped to hold in-person talks with Biden, but surging COVID-19 cases forced him to give up on visiting the United States before the start of a parliamentary session in Japan earlier this month.
During the virtual meeting, the leaders are expected to affirm the strength of the bilateral alliance as the summit comes as Japan is aiming to bolster its defense capabilities.
Source: Saudi Press Agency