The Trudeau government is working with Japan to strengthen their Indo-Pacific strategy. Japan’s minister of economy, trade, and industry will sign a memorandum of cooperation on electric vehicle supply chains during his visit to Ottawa. Japanese businesspeople representing the battery supply chain association and corporations like Panasonic, Mitsubishi, and Sumitomo will accompany him. In return for help in finance, science, and technology, the Canadian government plans to offer subsidies for new Japanese investments in the electric vehicle sector. Although no contracts or funding will be finalized on this trip, Japanese business representatives will sign agreements with Canadian companies to share technology and business intelligence. Both Canada and Japan are trying to catch up to and compete with China’s dominance in electric vehicles and battery manufacturing. Japan aims to diversify its trade away from China and Russia, focusing more on democratic partners like Canada. Automotive trade between Canada and Japan was liberalized in 2018 under the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP). With rising tensions in Asia, democratic countries have a shared interest in competing with China. To transition to zero-emission vehicles and meet climate change targets, both Canada and Japan need to accelerate investments and source new components for their automotive supply chains.
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