Germany and Japan have agreed to collaborate on economic security and reduce their dependence on China, according to a joint statement issued following the first governmental high-ministerial consultations between the two countries on 29 January. The statement confirmed the countries will work on creating a legal framework for bilateral defence and security cooperation activities on critical infrastructures, trading routes and to secure the future supply of sustainable energy. Japan’s economic security bill, which has bolstered critical supply chains and ensured the uptake of technology, was cited as a key factor behind Germany’s decision to prioritise discussions with Japan. With $45.7bn of bilateral trade which is largely based on the import and export of electronics, machinery, vehicles and chemical products, Japan is Germany’s second-largest trading partner in Asia after China. The statement coincided with an exchange of views on cooperation in the Indo-Pacific region, the situation in Ukraine and the G7 meeting in Hiroshima scheduled for May.
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