U.S.-Japan Economic Relations: Significance, Prospects, and Policy Options [December 5, 2011] [open pdf - 329KB]
"Japan and the United States are the two largest economic powers. Together they account for over 30% of world domestic product, for a significant portion of international trade in goods and services, and for a major portion of international investment. This economic clout makes the United States and Japan potentially powerful actors in the world economy. Economic conditions in the United States and Japan have a significant impact on the rest of the world. Furthermore, the U.S.-Japan bilateral economic relationship can influence economic conditions in other countries. The U.S.-Japan economic relationship is very strong and mutually advantageous. The two economies are highly integrated via trade in goods and services--they are large markets for each other's exports and important sources of imports. […] More generally, other issues regarding U.S.-Japan economic relations may emerge on the agenda of the 112th Congress. U.S. and Japanese leaders have several options on how to manage their relationship, including stronger reliance on the World Trade Organization; special bilateral negotiating frameworks and agreements; or a free trade agreement. On November 11, 2011, Prime Minister Noda announced at a press conference that he decided, after many consultations with potentially affected parties, that '[Japan would] enter into consultations toward participating in the TPP [Trans-Pacific Partnership] negotiations with the countries concerned on the occasion of the [November 12-13, 2011] APEC [Asian-Pacific Economic Cooperation] Economic Leaders meeting in Honolulu, Hawaii....' Japan's participation in the TPP will likely be the focal point of U.S.-Japan economic discussion for the foreseeable future."
CRS Report for Congress, RL32649