The 30th Meeting of the Japan - Canada Joint Economic Committee

On December 2/3, 2020, Japan hosted the 30th meeting of the Japan-Canada Joint Economic Committee (JEC). The meeting was held online for the first time due to the COVID-19 global pandemic.

The JEC was presided over by its two co-chairs, Mr. SUZUKI Hiroshi, Senior Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs and Mr. John Hannaford, Deputy Minister of International Trade at Global Affairs Canada. Japan’s Ambassador to Canada, Mr. KAWAMURA Yasuhisa, and Canada’s Ambassador to Japan, Mr. Ian Burney, as well as officials from the Japanese and Canadian governments participated in the meeting.  

The co-chairs committed to work together to further advance economic relations, collaborate to strengthen economic security, and deepen cooperation between Japan and Canada in efforts to respond to the COVID-19 crisis. They also committed to improving supply chain resilience as expressed in the G20 Riyadh Summit Leaders’ Declaration and in view of the vulnerabilities that the pandemic exposed. The Committee also took note of and supported the Declaration’s commendation of Japan’s determination to host the Olympic and Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020 next year as a symbol of humanity’s resilience and global unity in overcoming COVID-19. They welcomed their governments’ recent announcements setting out their shared commitment of reaching net-zero emissions, respectively, by 2050, and agreed that close collaboration would contribute to efforts to achieve these objectives.

The co-chairs acknowledged the importance of the strategic partnership between Japan and Canada and their shared vision of a free and open Indo-Pacific region based on the rule of law. In this regard, they welcomed Japan-Canada cooperation on energy, resource, and food security as well as the promotion of rules-based trade in the Indo-Pacific region and beyond.

The Committee recognized the contributions of Japan and Canada to the vital work of the World Trade Organization (WTO). Noting APEC’s support for a free, open, fair, non-discriminatory, transparent and predictable trade and investment environment set out in the Putrajaya Vision 2040, the Committee welcomed the leadership role and collaborative efforts of Japan and Canada to advance the work of the Ottawa Group and other WTO reform initiatives. The co-chairs affirmed the two countries’ commitment to continue to partner together in this critical area.

Acknowledging the opportunities that the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) has generated over the past two years in various sectors, the co-chairs affirmed their shared commitments to promote the benefits of the Agreement to their businesses and to continue to advocate for its implementation and expansion through ratification of remaining signatories and accession of new members. They also pledged to collaborate closely in 2021 when Japan assumes the role as Chair of the CPTPP Commission.

The Committee welcomed the Joint-Statement issued by the Japan-Canada Chambers Council (JCCC) after its virtual meeting on November 20, 2020, which emphasized the importance of Japan-Canada cooperation both bilaterally and in international forums. The Committee took note of the priorities set out by the JCCC, in particular in the areas of: energy and critical minerals, innovation, CPTPP promotion, particularly among SMEs, and the fight against climate change.

The Committee also welcomed the development of terms of reference for the CWG, which will ensure regular dialogue between officials in respect of JEC-related issues.

The co-chairs endorsed the CWG’s discussion on progress, future objectives, and outcomes in the Priority Areas of Cooperation (PACs). The CWG discussion featured the following points of discussion under the PACs:

Energy

Infrastructure

Science and Technology

Tourism and Youth Exchanges

Improving the Business Environment and Promoting Investment

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