US and Japan reaffirm cooperation in the Indo-Pacific and beyond


by Tetsushi Kajimoto

TOKYO (Reuters) – US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen in her first talks with Japanese Finance Minister Shunichi Suzuki on Tuesday reaffirmed the importance of cooperation between her country and Japan on shared priorities in the Indo-Pacific and around the world.

The brief talks came as the US seeks to strengthen ties with Japan and other regional powers to maintain peace and stability in the Indo-Pacific region to deter China in light of geopolitical risks such as the situation in Taiwan.

“(Yelen) welcomed the continued cooperation between the United States and Japan on various common priorities in the Indo-Pacific and globally,” the US Treasury said in a statement issued an hour after the phone call.

“The Secretary looks forward to working closely with Japan to strengthen bilateral relations and advance common interests, such as supporting a broad-based and sustainable recovery from the pandemic.”

Suzuki told reporters on Tuesday that the two sides discussed the importance of bilateral coordination to deal with global issues, such as implementing a global tax agreement and countering the resurgence of the pandemic in light of the emergence of the Omron variant.

Suzuki said the two officials did not exchange views on currencies, but added that Yellen referred to inflation when debating the US economy.

(Additional reporting by Takaya Yamaguchi)

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