Japan, Germany to Create Economic Security Framework; Discussions Come as Germany Tries to Lower Excessive Economic Reliance on China

Yomiuri Shimbun file photo
Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, right, and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz shake hands at the Prime Minister’s Office in Tokyo in March 2023.

Japan and Germany are putting the final touches for establishing an economic security framework, according to Japanese government sources.

Prime Minister Fumio Kishida and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz will reach an agreement on the framework when Kishida visits Germany on Friday.

Under the plan, Japan and Germany aim to deepen policy coordination to counter economic coercive actions that pressure other countries by placing trade restrictions on them.

The two governments apparently aim to deter such actions by China.

Japan’s Foreign Ministry and Economy, Trade and Industry Ministry officials will participate in discussions on the framework along with German officials from the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action. The dialogue will be held as a high-level meeting.

Strengthening supply chains of semiconductors and mineral resources will likely be on the agenda as well as the protection of important and emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence.

Keeping in mind that China has been toughening restrictions on exports of advanced semiconductor materials, Japan and Germany will promote cooperation and consider countermeasures.

Former German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s administration had policies that placed importance on economic ties with China, mainly in the field of automobile industries.

Her successor, Scholz, is changing course to lower Germany’s economic reliance on China to boost economic security.

Japan is also aiming to help Germany reduce its economy’s excessive reliance on China through the new framework.