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[Press Release] High-Level Working Group on Japan-U.S. Common Economic Challenges Launched

June 3, 2014

For immediate release

Daniel Bob, SPFUSA: (202) 296-4176
Brian Reil, PIIE: (202) 454-1334

The High-Level Working Group on Japan-U.S. 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, U.S. 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, TPP 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 U.S.-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
Kiyoto Ido, Vice Chairman, The Institute for International Economic Studies
Takatoshi Ito, Professor, National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies and Columbia
Motoshige Itoh, Professor, University of Tokyo (co-chair)
Masahiro Kawai, Project Professor,University of Tokyo, Graduate School of Public Policy
Hideichi Okada, Senior Executive Vice President, NEC Corporation
Jiro Hanyu, Chairman, The Sasakawa Peace Foundation

Unable to attend: Koji Tanami, Bank of Tokyo Mitsubishi, Hiroshi Yoshikawa, University of Tokyo

US members
Richard Clarida, Professor,Columbia University; Global Strategic Advisor and Executive Vice President, PIMCO
Peter Fisher, Senior Lecturer; Senior Fellow, Center for Global Business and Government, Dartmouth Tuck School of Business
Kristin Forbes, Professor, MIT Sloan School of Management
Robert Lawrence, Professor, Harvard Kennedy School of Government
Marcus Noland, Executive Vice President and Director of Studies, PIIE
Peter Orszag, Vice Chairman of Corporate and Investment Banking, Chairman of the Public Sector Group and Chairman of the Financial Strategy and Solutions Group at Citigroup, Inc
Adam Posen, Chairman, Peterson Institute for International Economics (co-chair)
David Weinstein, Director of Research at the Center on Japanese Economy and Business, and Chair of the Department of Economics at Columbia University

Unable to attend: Charles Collyns, Institute for International Finance; Glenn Hubbard, Columbia; Anil Kashyap, Chicago

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.

*The Panel discussion video is available.
(Peterson Institute for International Economics)

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