Japan Digest #360

1.        G7 Summit Begins Today


The leaders of the G7 nations, EU, India, Australia, Korea, Brazil, Indonesia, Vietnam, Union of Comoros and Cook Islands gathered in Hiroshima of Japan yesterday for this year’s G7 Summit that Japan hosts . 

PM Kishida held a bilateral meeting with U.S. President Joe Biden, UK PM Rishi Sunak and Italian PM Giorgia Meloni on May 18.

The summit meeting starts today by working lunch to talk about digital economy, trade, Ukraine followed by working dinner to discuss on the Indo-Pacific region, diplomacy and global security including nuclear disarmament. 

The second day will cover economic resilience and security, food, health, development, gender equality, climate change, energy and environment.

On the third day of May 21, the leaders will wrap up the three-day sessions and the chairman Kishida will release a joint statement in the afternoon at the press conference.

Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy will participate in the meeting online. 


2.   Kishida Builds Back Political Capital Through His Diplomacy


According to NHK’s monthly survey, which was conducted on May 12 through 14, the approval rating of the Kishida Cabinet jumped by 4 points to 46%, while the disapproval rating went down by 4 points to 31%.  Other key findings are as follows: 


To what extent do you expect that the G7 Hiroshima Summit will be able to create actions to stop the Russian invasion of Ukraine?   

Very much 2%  To some extent 26%    Not so much 50%         Not at all 16% 


To what extent do you expect the G7 Hiroshima Summit will create international momentum toward a “world without nuclear weapon”?  

Very much 2%  To some extent 27%    Not so much 45%         Not at all 20%   


PM Kishida and Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol resumed a shuttle diplomacy between the two nations. Do you think this will improve the bilateral relationship?

Yes 53%          No 32%            Don’t know 15%


The pandemic is over and the government no longer suggests wearing a mask. What do you do with your mask now?  

Wear it as before 55%  Wear less 33% No longer wear 8% 


What do you think that the government and local administrations utilize generative AI like ChatGPT?      

 Should be actively utilized 9%  Carefully utilized 65%  Shouldn’t be utilized 14% 


The approval rating of the ruling LDP was 36.5%, which is the highest ever, while the 2nd largest opposition party Nihon Ishin no Kai (Japan Restoration Party) earned 6.7%, which exceeded the largest opposition party CDPJ’s 4.2%.


3.  Japan-China Hotline Initiated


China has been rapidly building up both police and military presence in the regional sea, while Japan has been shifting the resources of its Coast Guard and Self Defense Forces toward its south and west area. In order to avoid accidental conflict between the two nations’ forces, a hotline was established in March this year between the mutual defense organizations. 

On May 16, Japan’s Defense Minister Hamada used the line for the first time to talk to his counterpart Li Shangfu, State Counselor and Defense Minister. 

Expressing Japan’s concern of China’s aggressive advancement to the regional sea, Hamada stressed the importance of exchanging candid communication using the hotline. 

The Chinese Defense Ministry made an announcement after the two ministers’ talk that the hotline should contribute to mutual crisis management capability in the regional sea and air so that the regional security and stability shall be kept further.


4.  PM Kishida Asked Global Semiconductor Giants To Invest In Japan


On May 18, PM Kishida met with the following executives of the world top semiconductor suppliers and urged them to invest in Japan or build partnership with Japanese corporations explaining the importance of positioning Japan in their individual semiconductor supply chains from the economic security standpoint.    


TSMC                        Chairman Dr. Mark Liu

Samsung                   CEO Dr. Kye Hyun Kyung

Intel                          CEO  Mr. Pat Gelsinger

Micron Technology    Mr. Sanjay Mehrotra

Applied Materials      Dr. Prabu Raja, President of Semiconductor Products Group

IBM                            Mr. Dario Gil, SVP

imec                         Mr. Max Mirgori, EVP 


Later, Micron Technology expressed its plan to invest 500 billion yen for the effort of R&D and production of the next generation semiconductor memory. 

Samsung and TSMC mentioned additional investment in Japan while Intel and IBM expressed desire to strengthen their partnership with Japanese corporations