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METI Minister Seko Visits the United States

January 10, 2019

On January 7 and (Mon.) and 8 (Tue.), 2019, Mr. Hiroshige Seko, Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry, visited Las Vegas, the United States. He toured the Consumer Electronics Show (CES), an exhibition bring together consumer electrical appliance and related services with the world most advanced technologies, and this was the first visit by the METI Minister to CES. In addition, Minister Seko provided encouragement to Japanese startups including J-Startups* that showcased their products at CES.

On January 9 (Wed), 2019, Minister Seko, visited Washington, D.C., and held the Fifth Trilateral Meeting of the Trade Ministers with H.E. Mr. Robert Emmet Lighthizer, United States Trade Representative, and H.E. Dr. Cecilia Malmström, European Commissioner for Trade.

* Note: J-Startups are startups selected under the J-Startup Program. The program is Japan’s initiative to intensively support selected startups, which are nominated by expert members of the program, by uniting efforts of the public and private sectors.

1. Visiting booths showcased by J-Startups

On January 7 (Mon.), Minister Seko toured booths showcased by J-Startups and other Japanese startups at CES and provided encouragement to them.


2. Visiting booths showcased by home appliance and automobile companies

On January 8 (Tue.), Minister Seko toured booths at CES, which were showcasing technologies in specific fields, such as 5G, smart homes, digital health and next-generation mobility.


3. Fifth Trilateral Meeting of the Trade Ministers (January 9; Washington, D.C.)

Minister Seko held the Fifth Trilateral Meeting of the Trade Ministers with Trade Representative Lighthizer and Commissioner Malmstrom.

At the meeting, they focused on rules on industrial subsidies, forced technology transfer and market-oriented conditions, confirmed the progress in the past working-level assessment of these fields and held discussions on future directions involving them. In particular, concerning the rules on industrial subsidies, they agreed on acceleration of related tasks to finalize trilateral text-based work by the spring of 2019.

Moreover, they agreed on specific efforts related to the WTO reform including: intensifying engagement with other trading partners to advance a joint transparency and notification proposal concerning the WTO reform; working together towards strengthening the regular committees’ activities; and working together so that the ministers can confirm in Davos the intention of initiation of WTO negotiations that seek to achieve a high standard agreement with the participation of as many WTO Members as possible.

In addition, they agreed on trilateral cooperation in tackling advancement of the WTO reform and other challenges at the G20 Ministerial Meeting on Trade and Digital Economy in 2019.

At the end of the meeting, the ministers agreed on a joint statement as an outcome of discussions at the meeting.

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