June 20. 2024. 1:14

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Scholz visits Japan amid efforts to curb dependence on Russia, China

Becoming less dependent on China and Russia was high on the agenda in Tokyo as Chancellor Olaf Scholz and his ministers attended their first-ever bilateral government consultations with Japan this weekend.

Scholz, Vice Chancellor and Economy Minister Robert Habeck, and Finance Minister Christian Lindner, met with their respective Japanese counterparts for talks on Saturday – a meeting widely seen as an effort to help loosen both countries’ economic ties to China by working together instead.

“Both sides pledged to strengthen their cooperation in the area of economic resilience to address and mitigate the risk of excessive dependency,” according to a joint statement issued by the two governments after the meeting.

Germany and Japan will also exchange expertise and best practices when mitigating supply chain risks, especially in sectors of strategic importance, including critical raw materials, semiconductors, clean energy, hydrogen, and batteries, the paper added.

The Russian invasion of Ukraine made it “painfully clear” what ramifications the overdependence on single suppliers in critical areas can have, Scholz said during a joint press conference after the talks.

“We want to reduce dependencies and increase the resilience of our economies,” he said, adding that Japan’s economic security strategy already provided a good example of how this should be done.

(Julia Dahm | EURACTIV.de)