A ministerial-level meeting of the IPEF = Indo-Pacific Economic Framework, an economic partnership framework in which Japan and the United States participate, was held in the United States, and a substantial agreement was reached in the field of supply chains = supply networks such as semiconductors.

IPEF is a framework in which 14 countries, including Japan, the United States, and India, participate, and since last year negotiations have been conducted in four areas with China's expanding influence in mind.

METI Minister Nishimura and State Minister for Foreign Affairs Yamada attended the ministerial-level meeting from Japan, and concluded with the adoption of a joint statement in the early morning of March 4, Japan time.

According to the report, when the supply of important goods such as semiconductors is interrupted due to infectious diseases or conflicts, an agreement on strengthening supply chains has been concluded in principle, such as supplying each other among participating countries.

They also agreed to establish a new framework for promoting technical cooperation and the construction of supply networks for the introduction of hydrogen, which is expected to be a next-generation energy source.

At a press conference, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Remondo emphasized the achievements, saying, "This is the first time that an international agreement on supply chains has been concluded, and it is very significant, and deepening cooperation will improve the business environment."

Each country will continue negotiations with the aim of reaching an early conclusion on the remaining three areas, including "trade," which involves digitization of customs procedures, and "clean economy," which promotes increased investment toward decarbonization.

Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry Nishimura: "Very significant significance"

Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry Nishimura, who attended the IPEF = Indo-Pacific Economic Framework Ministerial Meeting, said at a press conference, "This is the world's first multilateral agreement on supply chains, and it will create a framework for mutual cooperation in the event of a crisis. He emphasized the achievements of the substantial conclusion.

Regarding the remaining areas of negotiations, he stated, "I will continue to firmly lead the negotiations as a Japan so that each country can feel the merits."