Finance Minister Taro Aso expressed concern about protectionism on Tuesday ahead of a Group of 20 finance chiefs’ meeting later this week in Germany, saying the global economy must be kept open.
“There is no doubt that efforts have been made for an open society in this age,” Aso told reporters after a Cabinet meeting, adding that a country’s economy cannot sustain itself alone. “It is unavoidable that things will become more global.”
The focus of the G-20 meeting is expected to be on the protectionist policies of U.S. President Donald Trump, who has already pulled the United States out of the Trans-Pacific Partnership free trade deal.
Aso plans to hold a meeting with U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin on the sidelines of the gathering of G-20 finance ministers and central bank chiefs in Germany’s Baden-Baden on Friday and Saturday, amid market speculation that Mnuchin could raise concern about any possible devaluation in the yen by Japanese monetary authorities.
Aso said the G-20 meeting will cover a wide range of topics from international taxation and financial deregulation.
“We will explain about the Japanese economy but we will also need to listen to various views (from other countries),” Aso said.