US, Japan reaffirm collaboration in Indo-Pacific and globally

The Japanese national flag in front of the Great Hall of the People in Beijing. Photo: Kyodo Sketched by the Pan Pacific Agency.

TOKYO, Nov 30, 2021, Reuters. U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen on Tuesday reaffirmed the importance of U.S.-Japan cooperation on a range of common priorities in the Indo-Pacific and globally in her first telephone talks with Japanese Finance Minister Shunichi Suzuki, reported Reuters.

The brief talks took place as Washington sought to boost ties with Japan and other regional powerhouses to maintain peace and stability in the Indo-Pacific region to counter China in the face of geopolitical risks such as the status of Taiwan.

“(Yellen) welcomed ongoing collaboration between the United States and Japan across a range of common priorities in the Indo-Pacific and globally,” the U.S. Treasury said in a statement issued an hour after the phone talks.

“The Secretary looks forward to continuing to strengthen the bilateral relationship and to working closely with Japan to advance shared interests like supporting a broad-based and durable recovery from the pandemic.”

Suzuki told reporters on Tuesday the two sides discussed the importance of bilateral coordination to tackle global issues such as implementation of a global tax agreement and fighting a resurgence of the pandemic given the emergence of the Omicron variant.

The two did not exchange views on currencies, Suzuki said, but added that Yellen did mention inflation when discussing the U.S. economy.

“Stability in currencies is important. We are closely watching foreign exchange markets and their impact on the Japanese economy,” Suzuki said when asked about gains in the yen on worries about Omicron.

Risk aversion sent the dollar tumbling to a low of 112.99 on Monday before reversing to 113.80 yen on Tuesday.

Reporting by Tetsushi Kajimoto; Additional reporting by Takaya Yamaguchi Editing by Sonya Hepinstall

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