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Policy Proposals  U.S. and Canada Keidanren's Principal Position on the US-Japan Relationship - Toward a stronger and more resilient US-Japan relationship -

(Executive Summary)
April 18, 2017


  • US-Japan relations constitute the most important bilateral relationship, unique among all other bilateral relationships in the world.
  • As the political and economic environments surrounding the US and Japan change dramatically, multifaceted perspectives and strategies are required to respond to new situations.
  • At the recent US-Japan summit meeting, the two nations confirmed the unshakable U.S.-Japan Alliance, a result held in high regard by Keidanren.
  • Based on the unshakable alliance of the two countries, we must make economic ties between Japan and the US even stronger and more resilient.

I. Need to achieve inclusive and sustainable economic growth for the two countries

  • With a view to further improving the already strong economic relations between the US and Japan, it is a prerequisite that the two countries work together to achieve inclusive and sustainable economic growth.

[ Objectives for Japan ]

  • Become one of the most business-friendly countries by developing its business and investment environment and securing an equal footing internationally.
  • Establish an institutional framework by promoting the formation of economic partnership agreements and investment agreements to support companies' international business operations.

[ Expectations toward the US ]

  • Mitigate effects of globalization on income inequality, change the industrial structure of the economy, and generate more active domestic investment. Maintain vertical and horizontal mobility and sustain an open economic society. Secure the transparency, stability and predictability of US government policies to further improve the investment appetite to the US economy.
  • Implement various policies such as regulatory reform, lowering the corporate tax rate, and infrastructure investment.
  • Proceed with international trade policies based on the perspectives of creating a framework of free trade and investment extending across the entire Asia-Pacific region.

II. Initiatives toward stronger and more resilient economic relations between the two countries

  • The US and Japanese economies today are closely interconnected as important trade and investment partners.
  • Direct investment by Japanese companies in the US has steadily risen (second highest in the world on a stock basis [411 billion USD]).
  • Japanese affiliated companies have created about 840,000 jobs in the US (1.74 million jobs including indirect employment). (Roughly 380,000 manufacturing sector jobs, a figure higher than other countries)
  • An expansion of investment from both sides is expected in the future.
  • To achieve stronger and more resilient economic ties, the two countries should expand areas of bilateral cooperation such as:
  1. (1) Exercising leadership to strengthen global governance
  2. (2) Establishing free and open trade and investment rules in the Asia-Pacific region
  3. (3) Cooperating in infrastructure investment
  4. (4) Cooperating in generating innovation
  5. (5) Cooperating in solving social issues

III. Initiatives by Keidanren

  • To make the US-Japan partnership stronger and more resilient, the business communities of the two nations should recognize the issues above and collaborate in prompting their respective governments to take concrete actions.
  • Keidanren will continue engaging proactively with related officials in the US and Japan; this will enable Japanese companies to continue participating and contributing to the US economy as good corporate citizens.
  • Keidanren will hold active dialogues in the US, at both federal and state levels, through such means as the dispatch of its mission, opinion exchanges with leading US figures visiting Japan, and collaboration with US business organizations to deepen their mutual understanding even further.
  • Keidanren will disseminate information strategically to broaden the understanding in US society of how Japanese firms make tangible contributions to the US economy.

Regional Affairs