Japan, US biz leaders call for closer economic ties in Asia

"Given Asia's current growth and integration trends and the vital security interests that are at stake in the region, there is arguably no area of the world more important to long-term global prosperity and stability," the leaders said in a joint statement released after ending a two-day annual meeting in Washington on Tuesday.

"In this context, and as the United States and Japan look for ways to promote economic recovery and increase their competitiveness amid the economic challenges of the 21st century, closer US-Japan economic integration and cooperation in Asia makes sense," the leaders said.

About 40 leaders took part in the 46th talks, co-chaired by Nomura Holdings Inc. Chairman Junichi Ujiie and Jean-Luc Butel, executive vice president of Medtronic Inc.

As a specific measure to solidify bilateral economic ties, they said both governments should commit to an economic dialogue focused on achieving concrete measures to boost trade and investment, energy and environmental cooperation, and harmonize regulations and standards, both bilaterally and in Asia.

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