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Japan’s Global Supply Chain Risk Management and Korea-Japan Cooperation economic security, economic cooperation

Author Gyupan Kim, Hyong-Kun Lee, Seung-Hyun Kim, and Wonju Son Series 23-10 Language Korean Date 2023.12.29

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This study outlines the Japanese government’s economic security strategy in response to the U.S.-led global supply chain reorganization, and analyzes the geographical risks of the Japan’s supply chain and the management policies on critical products. It also examines Korea’s supply chain management policy and provides policy implications for Korea-Japan cooperation in the following sectors: semiconductors, batteries, and critical minerals.


Chapter 2 analyzes Japan’s economic security policies, especially export control and the two measures included in ‘the Economic Security Promotion Act’ which are highly related to global supply chain reorganization or domestic supply chain reinforcement. This research also evaluates the policies from Japan’s perspective in the context of the US-led global supply chain reorganization. Based on the findings that Japan participates in multilateral frameworks, is careful not to directly provoke China, and is more interested in pursuing economic benefits through bilateral cooperation with the U.S., this chapter attempts to evaluate Japan’s strategy from two perspectives: Japan’s position on US-led multilateral global supply chain reorganization (IPEF, MSP), and US-Japan bilateral economic security cooperation.


Chapter 3 analyzes Japan’s supply chain risks, focusing on its geographical dependence on China. This study adopts Inomata and Hanaka’s (2021), Pass-Through Frequency indicators (PTF) an indicator of how often a high-risk country or industry appears in a particular supply chain. The results indicate the Chinese industry appears more frequently than average in the supply chain where Korea and Japan are the final producers and raw material exporters are the source countries. This feature is more pronounced in the transport equipment manufacturing industry for Japan and in the IT manufacturing industry for Korea. In addition, the findings show that the supply chain connecting the manufacturing industries of Korea and Japan is vulnerable due to heavy dependence on China, and the degree of dependence may be underestimated by the quantitative indicator than the frequency indicator. Finally, it is noteworthy that the supply chain between Korea’s and Japan’s IT industries and America’s public administration and defense industries, as well we health and social services industries, which are highly important from the economic security perspective, are heavily linked to China.


Chapter 4 delves into the Japanese government’s supply chain management policy for critical products under ‘the Economic Security Promotion Act’. Several supply chain reinforcement policies have been announced, starting with ‘the Economic Security Promotion Act’ in May 2022, laying the groundwork for the Japanese government to implement support measures by setting a budget and selecting private companies. However, among the 11 critical products designated by the Japanese government, the study examines the characteristics and tasks in the supply chains of 5 materials: semiconductors, batteries, critical minerals, permanent magnets and antibiotic substances. The study also covers the supply chain reinforcement support project, and other reinforcement projects other than the Economic Security Promotion Act. To understand the purpose of Japanese government, 11 materials are divided into two groups according to whether the purpose is to secure choke points from an economic security perspective (offensive strategy) or to strengthen industrial competitiveness (defensive industrial policy). Finally, the study evaluates an industrial policy that the Japanese government is carrying out to strengthen the competitiveness of the semiconductor sector.


Chapter 5 provides an overview of Korea’s supply chain management system and sectoral policies for semiconductors, batteries, and critical minerals based on the three laws (Framework Act on Supply Chain, Special Act on Materials-Parts-Equipment, Special Act on Resource Security). The analysis reveals several institutional differences between Korea and Japan in terms of disclosure of important items, budget allocation, method of business support policy, relationship between the framework law and the early warning system (EWS). The study deepens the analysis into sectoral level (semiconductors, secondary batteries, critical minerals) and compares Korea’s policies with those of Japan in order to provide detailed insights into direction of Korea-Japan cooperation. Chapter 6 not only summarizes and evaluates the discussion but also provides policy implications including policy recommendations for the topics covered in this study: △ Japan’s economic security strategy △ Japan’s supply chain risk analysis (including Korea-Japan comparison) △ Japan’s supply chain support policy △ Korea’s supply chain management policy (including Korea-Japan comparison) △ Korea-Japan industrial cooperation (semiconductors, batteries, critical minerals). 



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