Japan seeks APEC cooperation for economic recovery

Japan's economy minister has called on members of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum to work more closely together in efforts toward the region's recovery from the coronavirus pandemic.

Hagiuda Koichi made the appeal during a virtual APEC ministerial meeting that kicked off on Monday. The 2-day gathering focuses on the region's economic recovery from the pandemic.

He said a free and fair economic order will be indispensable to recovery.

He called for the removal of impediments to fair competition, such as excessive subsidies to businesses, as well as the elimination of unilateral trade control measures and other restrictions.

Hagiuda also touched on the disruptions to supply chains caused by the pandemic. Shipments from suppliers in Southeast Asia were delayed as the virus spread across the region.

Hagiuda said reinforcing supply chains in the Asia-Pacific region is essential to economic growth and called for enhanced coordination among the region's economies.

The ministers are scheduled to complete the meeting by releasing a joint statement on Tuesday.