(Bloomberg) -- The US, Japan and South Korea will hold the first meeting of financial chiefs on Wednesday in Washington, part of the coordinated efforts among the three allies to counter geopolitical and economic security threats.

US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, Japanese Finance Minister Shunichi Suzuki and South Korean Finance Minister Choi Sang-mok are expected to discuss sanctions against Russia and North Korea as well as supporting the Pacific island nations, according to the US Treasury department and Japan’s finance ministry. The three are meeting on the sidelines of the International Monetary Fund’s spring meetings and discussions among Group of 20 nations this week. 

Washington, Tokyo and Seoul have been strengthening their security and economic security cooperation, trying to de-risk supply chains from exposure to China and teaming up on key technologies like semiconductors and artificial intelligence.  

The gathering among the three finance heads follows the landmark summit in August between US president Joe Biden, Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida and South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol at the Camp David presidential retreat. The three had also agreed to launch a new annual gathering among their industry ministers. 

“Japan and South Korea are important partners and neighbors to tackle various challenges in an international community,” Kishida said on Friday in North Carolina, wrapping up his week-long visit to the US. “I believe that it is in the interest of both nations to expand cooperation in a multi-faceted manner.”  

The US and China have been competing to build influence among independent Pacific islands nations since the Solomon Islands in 2022 signed a security accord with Beijing — a first for the region — raising concerns about a possible Chinese military base in the neighborhood.

The meeting takes place at a time of political instability in South Korea, following a major election loss for Yoon and as Biden heads for a rematch against former President Donald Trump in November. Kishida, whose popularity among the public remains low partly due a slush fund scandal, had said it’s vital to keep communicating with South Korea “at all levels.” 

--With assistance from Erica Yokoyama and Viktoria Dendrinou.

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