Foreign & Economic Policies challenges will be the key priority for Mr Fumio Kishida, who is recently sworn in as Japan’s new Prime Minister. Tokyo will have to work in close cooperation and partnership with Washington, for implementing the China centric policies, as China’s economic and military might will be a common cause of concern for both the countries. President Biden Congratulated Prime Minister Kishida and highlighted the importance of U.S.-Japan Alliance, by sharing that the Alliance is the cornerstone of peace, security, and prosperity in the Indo-Pacific and the world.
China is one of the largest trading partners of both United States and Japan. US export to China is approx. $170 Billion whereas Import is approx. $479 Billion. Similarly, around 20% of Japanese export is dependent on the Chinese Market. There are very complex and voluminous commercial interlinkages between US and Japanese trade with the Chinese markets. Too much of the economic overdependence on one country, will gradually lead to loss of economic independence of the relaying nation.
During March 2021, a statement was released by the Security Consultative Committee, comprising of Secretary of State, Secretary of Defense, Minister for Foreign Affairs Motegi, and Minister of Defense Kishi. The Committee affirmed US-Japan commitment for free and open Indo-Pacific and rules-based international order. The statement also acknowledged that China’s behavior presents political, economic, military, and technological challenges to the Alliance and inconsistent with the existing international order. Committee also recognized the threat posed by North Korea’s arsenal to international peace and stability.
Later, President Biden and former Prime Minister Suga, pledged to renew the Us- Japan Alliance. The alliance is committed to focus on free and open Indo-Pacific, bolster Japan’s national defense capabilities to strengthen the Alliance and regional security, application of Article V of the U.S.-Japan Treaty for Securing the Senkaku Islands, strengthening bilateral cybersecurity and information security. US Japan alliance have concerns on economic coercion and inconsistent activities of China, with the international rules-based order. Alliance is opposed to unilateral attempts to change the status quo in the East China Sea and objects China’s unlawful maritime claims and activities in the South China Sea, human rights situations in Hong Kong and the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, complete denuclearization of North Korea. Bothe the countries re-iterated their commitment to work with allies and partners, including the Quad partners, for building a free, open, accessible, diverse, and a thriving Indo-Pacific.
According to Media Reports, Kishida is set to create a new ministry for economic security for stopping alleged technology theft by China. Chinese nationals are student in major universities around the World and have been alleged to play a role in technology theft e.g. Quantum Computing, Artificial Intelligence etc. The proposed initiatives may be seen as linked to launching of Competitiveness and Resilience (CoRe) Partnership between President Biden and former Prime Minister Suga. The program will create sensitive IPR which needs to be protected from theft. U.S.-Japan Competitiveness and Resilience (CoRe) Partnership will focus on key areas related to biotech, AI, Quantum Technology, civil space cooperation and secure information and communications technology (ICT). US & Japan will partner to build 5G & 6G networks, launch a Global Digital Connectivity Partnership, invest in R&D, cooperate on sensitive supply chains, cooperation on semi-conductors, and promotion & protection of critical technologies, focusing on genome sequencing etc.
Recently Japan signed agreement with Vietnam for transfer of defence equipment and technology. The agreement is an indication of the growing role, Japan is playing in resolving regional security issues, escalating from Chinese aggressiveness.
Peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait is key for International Stability and that makes it imperative to encourage the peaceful resolution of Taiwan Issue. However, Kishida will be expected to have a more comprehensive and clear policy regarding Taiwan Issues. The central question will be the role, to be played by the Japan, in case Beijing goes for unification of Taiwan by using the military might, what will be in such a scenario.
In a true sense, Kishida will have to promote the legacy of Shinzo Abe. Abe was not only Japan’s longest serving Prime Minister from 2012-2020, but he also architected Japan’s enhanced presence and power in the global and regional Geo-politics. World will be looking at Kishida for providing strong and stable leadership and demonstrating a posture that meets the tough needs of Geo-Politics as well as Geo-Economics.
Bureau Galactik Views