U.S.-Japan Investment Initiative 2008 Report

The United States and Japan have concluded a seventh year of consultations through our Investment Working Group on measures to improve the climate for foreign direct investment (FDI). Officials from the Department of State and Japan's Ministry of Economy, Trade, and Industry collaborated to produce the 2008 Investment Initiative Report documenting our progress. The report details the work of the Investment Working Group (IWG), which has led to greater understanding by the United States and Japan of the critical contribution of FDI to economic growth, as well as the most effective ways to promote cross-border investment. The Department of State continues to encourage Japan to find opportunities to increase FDI in Japan. The IWG supports the Japanese government's goal of doubling FDI as a share of GDP by the end of FY 2010.

The IWG welcomed President Bush's May 2007 statement on investment and Prime Minister Fukuda's January 2008 commitment to advance Japan's efforts towards economic reform and a more open investment climate.

The report describes policy initiatives to promote FDI, including the results of a study by Japan's Expert Committee on Foreign Direct Investment, which made several recommendations of strategies to increase FDI in Japan. It addresses recently enacted rules governing cross-border stock swaps to assess their impact in facilitating mergers and acquisitions. The report also discusses how both countries have improved understanding of each other's procedures for reviewing FDI with regard to national security implications. The United States and Japan reaffirmed their commitment to continued communication regarding investment agreements with other countries.

The report addresses the IWG's outreach efforts to the private sector. The IWG met with business organizations and companies in May 2007 and October 2007. Discussions addressed challenges and suggestions for improving cross-border investment.

The Investment Initiative is part of the U.S.-Japan Economic Partnership for Growth (EPG). President Bush and former Prime Minister Koizumi launched the EPG in June 2001 to support economic renewal and revitalization in both Japan and the United States.

This year's Investment Initiative report is available at www.state.gov/p/eap/ci/ja/c6791.htm.