Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry Hiroshige Seko and U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross are expected to affirm cooperation in the cybersecurity and energy areas in their upcoming meeting.
While the Trump administration is taking issue with the exchange rate and trade imbalance with Japan, the Japanese side wants to deepen bilateral cooperation in technical fields and in dealing with China in order to strengthen the Japan-U.S. relationship.
Seko and Ross are expected to meet in Tokyo on April 18. While Ross is coming to Japan on the same day as Vice President Mike Pence, who will be here for the Japan-U.S. economic dialogue, he will not participate in the dialogue.
In the field of energy, the two officials will discuss promotion of renewable energy and expansion of exports of U.S. shale gas to Japan and Asia.
Cooperation in cybersecurity, an issue of common interest, will be discussed, and countermeasures against counterfeit products made in China are also expected to be included in the agenda.
Ross is expected to play an important role in the Trump administration’s trade policy. The U.S. side is poised to demand that Japan correct the bilateral trade imbalance. The sale of Toshiba’s semiconductor business and Westinghouse’s filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection may also be taken up in the meeting. (Slightly abridged)