This month's featured article
Defending Open Multilateral Trade Central to Japan's G7 Economic Security Agenda
ARMSTRONG, ShiroVisiting Fellow, RIETI
Economic, environmental and food security are central to Japan’s G7 agenda as prime minister Kishida hosts the leaders from the group of advanced economies in Hiroshima in May. The agenda aims to be relevant for the ‘Global South’ as global inflation, uneven recovery from the pandemic and the food and energy crises, a fallout from Russia's invasion of Ukraine, are challenges that are not unique to advanced economies.
Great power strategic competition between China and the United States and the rise of an assertive China have elevated the issue of economic coercion on Japan’s G7 agenda. China has tried to use its economic power to extract political concessions from Japan and other countries, including South Korea, the Philippines and most recently Australia.
The response to these new circumstances in Japan has seen the introduction of economic security laws that aim to protect Japanese intellectual property and critical infrastructure and make supply chains more resilient. Much of this is sound economic policy but there is also an element of protection from Chinese practices and an attempt to avoid collateral damage from US-China strategic competition. Both Beijing and Washington are forcing countries to choose sides in a competition where each sees the gain of the other as a loss to them.
Australia and India have been invited to the G7 summit as guests. Both are members of the strategic Quad grouping with Japan and the United States, and India is chairing the G20 this year and an important leader of the ‘Global South’. Australia has much to share from its experience in withstanding Chinese economic coercion since 2020.
To read the full text:
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