Germany and Japan have pledged to cooperate closely on economic security, with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz leading a delegation of six ministers to Japan for the two countries’ first high-ministerial government consultations. The discussions held amid rising concerns over global supply chains and economic disruption brought on by the war in Ukraine. Scholz is looking into ways to reduce Germany’s dependence on Chinese raw materials. “The Russian invasion of Ukraine as well as the Covid-19 pandemic have made us painfully aware of the difficulties that can arise when there is too much economic dependency in critical areas,” Scholz said. Japan, which passed an economic security bill last year to guard technology and reinforce critical supply chains, is Germany’s second-largest trading partner in Asia. The alliance’s focus on “strategic areas including mineral resources, semiconductors, and batteries” aims to help the countries establish a framework for bilateral defence, with Japan’s raw material strategy under study for lessons on how to reduce Germany’s dependency on imports.

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