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U.S.-Japan economic dialogue to start as early as April

  • February 19, 2017
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All papers reported Saturday that Finance Minister Aso spoke to reporters on Friday about the new bilateral economic dialogue with Vice President Pence, saying, “We will first begin comprehensive discussions as early as around April.” Aso reportedly disclosed that bilateral cooperation in infrastructure investment as well as trade and investment rules will be on the agenda. Aso also indicated that Tokyo is hoping to prioritize economic cooperation over a free trade agreement, since it will be less contentious. Yomiuri wrote that although Japan is planning to seek ways to cooperate with the U.S., the outlook remains uncertain because the U.S. might make difficult demands.


Monday’s Mainichi reported that in its latest survey, 67% of respondents said Japan will not be able to negotiate on equal terms with the U.S. under the new economic dialogue, while 21% said it will. The paper said although President Trump did not make any economic requests during his summit with Prime Minister Abe, there are growing concerns about possible U.S. pressure on Japan in the future.

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