TOKYO (Reuters) – German Chancellor Olaf Scholz will touch down in Japan on Saturday with six of his ministers searching for closer financial ties, as he considers lowering German dependence on Chinese raw components amid international provide chain tensions.

Scholz and Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida are preparing a “government consultation” involving numerous cabinet members from each nations to talk about methods to safe financial safety.

“As democracies and as very industrialized, export-oriented economies, Japan and Germany face comparable challenges in shaping the digital and ecological transformation and strengthening the resilience of their economy in complicated geopolitical instances,” Franziska Brantner, state secretary in Germany’s economy ministry, told Reuters.

Provided Japan’s passing of a bill on financial safety, Berlin hopes to discover its raw material approach and take Tokyo’s cue on how to reduce dependency on imports, a German government official stated of the pay a visit to.

In a move mainly focused at China, Japan’s parliament passed an financial safety bill final year aimed at guarding technologies and reinforcing important provide chains.

Trade amongst Germany and China rose to a record level final year, producing the Asian nation Germany’s most vital trading companion for the seventh year in a row regardless of political warnings in Berlin about excessive dependence.

Goods worth about 298 billion euros have been traded amongst the two nations in 2022, up about 21% from a year just before, according to information from the German statistics workplace.

Japan is Germany’s second biggest trading companion in Asia behind China, with volumes reaching about 46 billion euros in 2022.

Worried about Germany’s dependence, the centre-left government is now taking a tougher line towards Beijing than its centre-appropriate predecessor and is exploring methods to wean itself off China’s economy.

(Reporting by Sakura Murakami in Tokyo and Riham Alkousaa in Berlin Editing by Alex Richardson)

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