Japanese industry minister Yasutoshi Nishimura and his U.S. counterpart Gina Raimondo on Friday agreed to boost cooperation on the development of next-generation semiconductors.

During the meeting in Detroit, they also confirmed the need to reinforce global supply chains with other partners and through multilateral engagements such as the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework, a U.S.-led economic initiative launched last year involving 14 countries in the region.

Japanese industry minister Yasutoshi Nishimura (R) and U.S. Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo shake hands as they meet in Detroit on May 26, 2023. (Kyodo)

A joint statement released by Japan's minister of economy, trade and industry and the U.S. commerce secretary said they will encourage semiconductor research centers of the two countries to work together in creating a road map for the development of technology and human resources associated with chips.

"We want to dramatically speed up Japan-U.S. cooperation, including on future technology development," Nishimura said at a press conference.

The statement said the areas of cooperation also include artificial intelligence, cybersecurity, and bio-related and quantum technologies.

At their one-on-one talks on the margins of an Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum ministerial meeting in the U.S. city, the two also agreed to hold a second "two-plus-two" economic dialogue "at the earliest possible time."

Japan and the United States held the inaugural talks bringing together the countries' foreign and economic ministers in July last year.

The APEC ministers, meanwhile, failed to issue a joint statement after two days of discussions due to differing views over Russia's war in Ukraine, as has been the case at many other multilateral gatherings involving Russia and China held since the war began over a year ago.

The United States, this year's APEC chair, had proposed to state that the war is harming the global economy, but Russia and China opposed the idea, according to officials.

U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai, who hosted the meeting, instead issued a chair's statement saying that "most members strongly condemned the war" but "there were other views and different assessments of the situation and sanctions."

She said, however, that the members reaffirmed the importance of "upholding and further strengthening the rules-based multilateral trading system" with the World Trade Organization at its core.

Japan and the United States as well as their partners are stepping up efforts to create a system to enable them to better secure key industrial materials in the face of China's so-called economic coercion, involving the use of economic means to achieve political goals, and its rising influence in the chip sector.

During the bilateral meeting, Nishimura and Raimondo agreed that Japan and the United States will cooperate on geographically diversifying chip production, according to their statement.

Japanese Economy, Trade and Industry Minister Yasutoshi Nishimura (2nd from R) holds talks with U.S. Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo (2nd from L) in Detroit, Michigan, on May 26, 2023. (Kyodo) ==Kyodo