During their first-ever high-ministerial government meetings, held in the midst of concerns over global supply chains and the economic repercussions of the war in Ukraine, Germany and Japan decided to work closely together on economic security.

German chancellor Olaf Scholz is visiting Japan with six ministers to explore options for reducing Germany’s reliance on China imports.

At a news conference after the meetings, Scholz said, “The Russian invasion of Ukraine as well as the Covid-19 outbreak have made us acutely aware of the issues that might occur when there is too much economic dependency in vital areas.

“We need to respond to this. We are attempting to come to the correct conclusions from these experiences with Japan and other partners, he continued.

In a joint statement, the two countries “affirmed their commitment to expand cooperation on economic security” and to work towards building “a legislative framework for bilateral defence and security cooperation actions, such as offering logistical help and support”.

Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida stated that Japan and Germany wanted to increase their cooperation “in strategic areas including mineral resources, semiconductors, and batteries, and share our best practices to counter risks in order to build a resilient supply chain that is safe and sustainable”.