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Japan and Germany are among the largest and most advanced economies in the world. We already benefit from good and trusting cooperation in a great number of fields. This applies, for example, to many cutting-edge technologies, the automotive industry and the digitalisation of our economies. But our two countries are bound by more than just economic relations: we also work closely together as partners with shared values, for instance, within the G7 and in our support of Ukraine.

We want to keep building up this good partnership. At the intergovernmental consultations between Japan and Germany, held for the first time this year, we therefore agreed on closer cooperation in many other areas.

To continue to reduce economic dependencies, we want to cooperate even more closely on the issue of raw materials security in particular, as our competitiveness is being increasingly driven by resilient and diversifying trade relations. Crisis-proof supply chains, technological sovereignty and sufficient domestic industrial capacities have to be funded, particularly in critical segments, and protected where necessary.

The German-Japanese Business Forum provides an outstanding platform for intensive dialogue on these and numerous other topical issues, such as digitalisation, Industrie 4.0, climate change and the ecological transition. Here, experts from industry and research are able to discuss their experiences, present innovations and strategies in various sectors of the economy, and explore potential collaborations.

As patron of the German-Japan Economic Forum, I am delighted to welcome you to the HANNOVER MESSE 2023. I wish all participants open and vigorous discussions, fresh insights and new ideas for both our countries.