Secretary Antony J. Blinken at a Virtual Meeting with Japanese Business Leaders 

Antony J. Blinken, Secretary of State

Tokyo, Japan

Chief of Mission Residence

SECRETARY BLINKEN: Joe, thank you so much, and I think everything you said is accurate, except for the use of the word “accomplished” for musician. But I appreciate it nonetheless.

It’s really wonderful to be with everyone today, and Joe, thank you for the introduction, but thank you also for what you’re doing every single day to lead this mission and to lead it so well. Deeply, deeply, appreciate it.

And Melinda, thank you very much for moderating this conversation, for helping to bring us together today. And to all of you, let me say I really want to be in listening mode this morning. I want to use this time as much as possible to hear from you, to learn from you. But let me just say a few things at the outset to try to kick off the conversation.

This is the first event of my first overseas travel as Secretary of State. And there’s a reason for that. The topics we’re going to talk about today are critical to our economies, to our workers, and to our people. And the entire focus of our foreign policy is trying to make sure that everything we’re doing is seen through the prism of: Are we making things just a little bit better for our own people? And of course, their economic well-being, their opportunities – all of these are front and center in our thinking.

The economic relationship between the United States and Japan is, as you know very well, one of the strongest in the world. We’re top trading partners, we’re top investors in each other’s economies; more than 900,000 American jobs are tied to Japanese investment. So it’s in all of our interests to make sure that we’re doing all that we can to keep our bilateral economic relationship strong and growing, and to make smart decisions and investments to keep the economies moving forward and thriving into the future.

Of course, we’ve all been living with the pandemic, and among other things, it’s exposed vulnerabilities in our global supply chains for critical products, including medical equipment, supplies, semiconductors. We need to build secure and resilient supply chains for the future. This is a critical task that President Biden has put a lot of emphasis on.

And of course, the pandemic also had significant economic impacts on the world economy. We need to lead a sustainable recovery – and even better, a green recovery. Because that’s the best way to meet the climate goals we share.

More broadly, now is a really good time to work together to make sure that as technology and innovation move forward so quickly, consumers are protected, privacy is protected, and those who steal intellectual property are held accountable for it. We need a systematic approach to building the industries of the future while protecting against unfair and illegal practices.

Those are just some of the issues, and there are so many more, but those are just some of the headline issues that will affect Japanese and American workers, businesses, and families in the years ahead. And it’s a top priority for the Biden-Harris administration to address them (inaudible). President Biden, as I said, wants a foreign policy that actually delivers results for our workers, for their families, for our businesses, and finding ways to deepen our economic cooperation is exactly what he has in mind.

So with that, Melinda, let me hand it back to you, and we can have a conversation.

More from: Antony J. Blinken, Secretary of State

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    In U.S GAO News
    The Department of Veterans Affairs' (VA) policy on use of force states that police officers must use the minimal level of force that is reasonably necessary to gain control of a situation and should only utilize physical control methods on an individual when the force is justified by the individual's actions. To guide officers, VA developed a Use of Force Continuum Scale to define and clarify the categories of force that can be used. Categories of Force on the VA’s Use of Force Continuum Scale According to VA policy, all police officers must receive training on the VA's use of force policy when hired and biannually thereafter. Officers are trained—through classroom lectures and scenarios that emphasize effective communication techniques—to use the minimal level of force to deescalate a situation. Officers record use of force incidents electronically and the chief of police decides which, if any, use of force incidents need to be investigated in accordance with VA guidance. Chiefs of Police at the six facilities GAO visited conducted investigations in a similar manner, by reviewing evidence and comparing an officer's action with the VA's use of force policy to determine whether actions were justified. While most investigations are conducted at the local level, VA headquarters may also run investigations for certain incidents, such as when it receives a complaint against an officer. VA police officers record incidents in a database, Report Executive, but GAO's analysis indicates that VA data on use of force incidents are not sufficiently complete and accurate for reporting numbers or trends at medical centers nationwide. For example, GAO found that 176 out of 1,214 use of force incident reports did not include the specific type of force used. Further, Report Executive does not track incidents by individual medical centers. By addressing these limitations, VA can more effectively monitor use of force trends by type of force or medical facility, among other variables, to understand the VA's use of force incidents nationwide. GAO also found that VA does not systematically collect or analyze use of force investigation findings from local medical centers, limiting its ability to provide effective oversight. Specifically, there is no policy requiring Chiefs of Police to submit all investigations on use of force to VA headquarters, and VA does not have a database designed to collect and analyze data on use of force investigations. Collecting and analyzing such data nationwide would allow VA to better assess the impact of its deescalation policies and improve the agency's oversight efforts. About 5,000 VA police officers are responsible for securing and protecting 138 VA medical centers across the country. These officers are authorized to investigate crimes, make arrests, and carry firearms. The Dr. Chris Kirkpatrick Whistleblower Protection Act of 2017 included a provision that GAO assess aspects of the VA police services. This report addresses (1) what the VA's policies are on the use of force by police officers at medical centers, and what training officers receive on the use of force; (2) how VA records and investigates use of force incidents at medical centers; and (3) the extent to which VA sufficiently collects and analyzes use of force data at medical centers. To address these objectives, GAO reviewed VA policies, procedures, and training materials on the use of force and interviewed VA officials at headquarters and six local medical centers, selected to represent varying size and locations. GAO reviewed VA data on use of force incidents recorded from May 10, 2019, through May 10, 2020—the most recent full year data were available. GAO is making five recommendations, including that VA improve the completeness and accuracy of its use of force data; implement a tool to analyze use of force incidents at medical centers nationwide; ensure that medical centers submit all use of force investigations to VA headquarters; and analyze the use of force investigation data. The VA concurred with each of GAO's recommendations. For more information, contact Gretta L. Goodwin at (202) 512-8777 or goodwing@gao.gov.
    [Read More…]
  • Pain Clinic Medical Providers Sentenced for Their Roles in Operating Pill Mills in Tennessee
    In Crime News
    Three defendants, all of whom are nurse practitioners, were sentenced to prison for their roles in prescribing massive quantities of opioids from pill mills in Knoxville, Tennessee.
    [Read More…]
  • Execution Rescheduled for Federal Inmate Convicted of Brutally Murdering a Grandmother and her Nine-Year-Old Granddaughter
    In Crime News
    Attorney General William [Read More…]
  • Hospital Researcher Sentenced to Prison for Conspiring to Steal Trade Secrets and Sell to China
    In Crime News
    An Ohio man was sentenced yesterday to 33 months in prison for conspiring to steal exosome-related trade secrets concerning the research, identification and treatment of a range of pediatric medical conditions.
    [Read More…]
  • Secretary Pompeo to Host [pre-recorded] Virtual Conference on Combatting Online Anti-Semitism
    In Crime Control and Security News
    Office of the [Read More…]
  • Multinational Industrial Engineering Company To Pay $22 Million To Settle False Claims Act Allegations Relating to Evaded Customs Duties
    In Crime News
    Linde GmbH and its U.S. subsidiary Linde Engineering North America LLC (LENA) (together, “Linde”) have agreed to pay the United States more than $22.2 million to resolve allegations that Linde violated the False Claims Act by knowingly making false statements on customs declarations to avoid paying duties owed on the companies’ imports, the Justice Department announced today. 
    [Read More…]
  • Investment Professional and Author is Sentenced for Defrauding National Women’s Sorority
    In Crime News
    A Florida woman was sentenced to 24 months in prison today for her role in an investment management scheme.
    [Read More…]
  • The Departments of Justice and Homeland Security Publish Final Rule to Restrict Certain Criminal Aliens’ Eligibility for Asylum
    In Crime News
    Today, the Department of Justice and the Department of Homeland Security announced the publication of a Final Rule amending their respective regulations to prevent certain categories of criminal aliens from obtaining asylum in the United States.  The rule takes effect 30 days after publication of the Final Rule in the Federal Register, which is scheduled to occur on Wednesday, Oct. 21.
    [Read More…]
  • Chinese Businessman Charged With Conspiring To Steal Trade Secrets
    In Crime News
    Chi Lung Winsman Ng, aka Winsman Ng, 64, a Chinese businessman residing in Hong Kong, was indicted yesterday for conspiring to steal General Electric’s (GE) trade secrets involving the company’s silicon carbide MOSFET technology and worth millions of dollars.
    [Read More…]
  • Department of Justice Forecasts an Increase in Counter Unmanned Aerial Systems (C-UAS) Protection Activities and Criminal Enforcement Actions
    In Crime News
    The Department of Justice (DOJ) today announced the protection activities undertaken by the FBI to counter the threat posed by Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) at certain National Special Security Events (NSSEs), Special Events Assessment Rating (SEAR) events, and select mass gatherings throughout the country over the past fiscal year. DOJ and the FBI are publicizing protection activities in an effort to deter careless and criminal UAS operators in light of an anticipated increase in enforcement activity in response to the misuse of UAS.
    [Read More…]
  • New York Businessman Pleads Guilty to Tax Evasion
    In Crime News
    A Woodsburgh, New York, businessman pleaded guilty today to tax evasion, announced Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Richard Zuckerman of the Justice Department’s Tax Division.
    [Read More…]
  • Launching Agriculture Innovation Mission for Climate
    In Crime Control and Security News
    Office of the [Read More…]
  • Remarks by Attorney General William P. Barr at the Major Cities Chiefs Association Conference
    In Crime News
    I appreciate the invitation to address this group.  I want to start by thanking you, and the men and women you lead, for serving in what I think is the most noble profession in our country – enforcing the law and keeping our communities safe. 
    [Read More…]
  • Australia Travel Advisory
    In Travel
    Reconsider travel to [Read More…]
  • Judiciary Seeks New Judgeships, Reaffirms Need for Enhanced Security
    In U.S Courts
    The Judicial Conference of the United States, the Judiciary’s policy-making body, today addressed two of its most pressing issues – a proposal to add 79 new judgeships for courts across the country and initiatives to improve both personal and courthouse security.
    [Read More…]
  • Three North Korean Military Hackers Indicted in Wide-Ranging Scheme to Commit Cyberattacks and Financial Crimes Across the Globe
    In Crime News
    A federal indictment unsealed today charges three North Korean computer programmers with participating in a wide-ranging criminal conspiracy to conduct a series of destructive cyberattacks, to steal and extort more than $1.3 billion of money and cryptocurrency from financial institutions and companies, to create and deploy multiple malicious cryptocurrency applications, and to develop and fraudulently market a blockchain platform.
    [Read More…]
  • Secretary Blinken’s Call with Azerbaijani President Aliyev
    In Crime Control and Security News
    Office of the [Read More…]
  • Secretary Pompeo’s Meeting with Islamic Republic of Afghanistan’s Negotiating Team
    In Crime Control and Security News
    Office of the [Read More…]
  • Identifying Organizations Engaged in Anti-Semitic BDS Activities
    In Crime Control and Security News
    Michael R. Pompeo, [Read More…]
  • U.S. Trustee Program Announces Streamlined Forms for Completing Chapter 11 Financial Reports
    In Crime News
    The Department of Justice’s U.S. Trustee Program (USTP) announced today the publication of a final rule in the Federal Register that streamlines the financial reports required under the Bankruptcy Code to be filed with the bankruptcy court by the vast majority of business and individual debtors in chapter 11 bankruptcy, including in the largest reorganization cases.
    [Read More…]
  • Hong Kong Autonomy Act Update
    In Crime Control and Security News
    Antony J. Blinken, [Read More…]
  • Alabama Doctor Sentenced for Conspiracy to Distribute a Controlled Substance
    In Crime News
    An Alabama doctor and her husband were sentenced Tuesday to 52 and 30 months in prison respectively for prescribing and dispensing controlled substances without a legitimate medical purpose and outside the course of professional practice.
    [Read More…]
  • Utah Man Posing As Medical Doctor To Sell Baseless Coronavirus Cure Indicted On Fraud Charges
    In Crime News
    Utah resident Gordon H. Pedersen has been indicted for posing as a medical doctor to sell a baseless treatment for coronavirus (COVID-19). According to the indictment returned by a federal grand jury in Salt Lake City late last week, Pedersen fraudulently promoted and sold ingestible silver-based products as a cure for COVID-19 despite having no evidence that his products could treat or cure the disease. Pedersen is also alleged to have claimed to be a physician and worn a stethoscope and white lab coat in videos and photos posted on the Internet to further his alleged fraud scheme.
    [Read More…]
  • Courthouse Closures for Hurricane Laura
    In U.S Courts
    Federal courthouses in Louisiana are closed due to the effects of Hurricane Laura.
    [Read More…]
  • Tajikistan Travel Advisory
    In Travel
    Do not travel to [Read More…]
  • Law Firms Representing Purdue Pharma Agree to Relinquish $1 Million in Settlement with U.S. Trustee Program
    In Crime News
    The Department of Justice’s U.S. Trustee Program (USTP) has entered into a settlement with three law firms representing Purdue Pharma (Purdue) in its ongoing bankruptcy cases. The firms are Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP; Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr LLP; and Dechert LLP (the Firms). 
    [Read More…]