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News Release

High-Level Working Group on Japan-US Common Economic Challenges Launched

June 3, 2014

Contact:    Daniel Bob    (202) 296-4176
    Brian Reil    (202) 454-1334

WASHINGTON—The High-Level Working Group on Japan-US Common Economic Challenges debuted on June 2nd and 3rd in Washington—a partnership of the Sasakawa Peace Foundation Japan, Sasakawa Peace Foundation USA, and the Peterson Institute for International Economics.

"This was a particularly important set of discussions since it's the first high-level economic dialogue between Japan and the United States in more than a decade," commented SPFUSA Chairman Admiral Dennis Blair, former Director of National Intelligence and former Commander, US Pacific Command.

"Our two countries share a wide array of common economic interests beginning with the speedy completion of the Trans-Pacific Partnership, but extending to macro- and micro-economic issues that will significantly affect the direction of the global economy. It's a dynamic time in the economies of both countries, and important that we understand ways we can work together."

The group, comprised of distinguished economists and former government officials from both countries, covered such issues affecting both countries as productivity slowdowns, long-term fiscal sustainability, the effectiveness of fiscal policy and public investment, Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiations and prospects, and monetary policy in the face of extended slowdowns. These closed-door discussions were followed by an on-the-record panel discussion for press and public on current US-Japan issues.

The group plans to meet twice yearly, with the next session planned for Tokyo at the end of 2014. Frank and substantive exchange will continue on key issues with the hope and expectation of generating significant policy advice and new applied research ideas, as well as an important channel for communication between the two countries.

Japanese members

Jiro Hanyu, Sasakawa Peace Foundation
Kiyoto Ido, Institute for International Economic Studies
Takatoshi Ito, National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies and Columbia
Motoshige Itoh, University of Tokyo
Masahiro Kawai, University of Tokyo, Graduate School of Public Policy
Hideichi Okada, NTT Data Institute of Management and Consulting
Unable to attend: Koji Tanami, Bank of Tokyo Mitsubishi; Hiroshi Yoshikawa, University of Tokyo

US members

Richard Clarida, Columbia University
Peter Fisher, Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College
Kristin Forbes, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Robert Lawrence, Harvard University
Marcus Noland, Peterson Institute for International Economics
Peter Orszag, Citibank
Adam Posen, Peterson Institute for International Economics (co-chair)
David Weinstein, Columbia University
Unable to attend: Charles Collyns, Institute for International Finance; Glenn Hubbard, Columbia University; Anil Kashyap, University of Chicago

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About the Peterson Institute

The Peterson Institute for International Economics is a private, nonprofit institution for the rigorous, open, and intellectually honest study and discussion of international economic policy. Its purpose is to identify and analyze important issues to making globalization beneficial and sustainable for the people of the United States and the world and then to develop and communicate practical new approaches for dealing with them. The Institute is widely recognized as nonpartisan. It receives its funding from a wide range of corporations, foundations, and private individuals from the United States and around the world, as well as from income on its endowment.

About the Sasakawa Peace Foundation

The Sasakawa Peace Foundation is based in Japan and works to foster international cooperation and world peace and has projects around the globe. The Sasakawa Peace Foundation USA is an American non-profit 501(c)(3)organization focused on enhancing US-Japan relations.