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EDITORIAL: ‘2-plus-2’ talks must have single goal: Protection of free trade

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Japan and the United States have begun a new round of regular ministerial-level talks on economic and national security issues. With the international order facing a raft of serious challenges, there is a strong case for closer cooperation in these areas between the two allies.

If, however, the two leading economic powers undercut the principle of free trade in their single-minded pursuit of security, the foundation of the world economy, including their own, would be weakened. Exceptions to the principle should be limited to the very minimum necessary.

On July 29, top foreign and economic policy officials of both nations held the inaugural ministerial meeting of the Japan-U.S. Economic Policy Consultative Committee, or the so-called economic “two-plus-two” meeting, in Washington.

The new economic security dialogue was rolled out with the recognition that “foreign and national security policies and economic policy are now inseparable and fundamentally linked,” in the words of Koichi Hagiuda, Japan’s trade and economy........

© The Asahi Shimbun

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