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Innovation: A New Focus for U.S.-Japan Economic Cooperation

Author: Sean P. Connell, International Affairs Fellow in Japan, Sponsored by Hitachi, Ltd. 2011-2012
June 4, 2012
East-West Center

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In their April 30 statement outlining a new joint vision for U.S.-Japan relations, President Barack Obama and Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda advanced the goal of "enhancing economic growth and prosperity" through cooperation on "innovation, entrepreneurship…and science and technology." This statement includes a wide range of commitments to expand existing engagement and initiate new developments in sectors driven by innovation, ranging from clean energy to space and cyber security. While emphasis in Washington and Tokyo often centers on the security aspects of the U.S.-Japan relationship, opportunities to jointly develop and lead on innovation, entrepreneurship, science and technology should not be overlooked. Heightening focus on this area within U.S.-Japan economic relations holds exciting potential for deepening ties as both countries work to meet shared challenges amidst an increasingly competitive global environment.

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