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From Backdoor-Opening To Concluding “Real” Free Trade Agreements? : Japan’s Free Trade Policy Towards The US, The EU And Latin American Countries

Suzuki, Hitoshi (2015) From Backdoor-Opening To Concluding “Real” Free Trade Agreements? : Japan’s Free Trade Policy Towards The US, The EU And Latin American Countries. [Conference Proceedings] (Submitted)

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    The first country Japan signed an Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) was Singapore in January 2002. Since then, Japan has agreed upon EPAs with most of the Asian-Pacific countries, including Australia (July 2014), but without Korea and China. This could be described as the first stage of Japan’s FTA/EPA negotiations, set upon a strategy to conclude with countries “as many as possible” and “in the order of conclude-able.” Japan’s EPAs with Mexico (May 2005), Chile (September 2007), and Peru (March 2012) aimed to catch up with the US and the European Union’s (EU) free trade policy with Latin American countries, so that Japanese multi-nationals would not reduce market access. Japan’s strategy in this stage had been passive. In the current second stage, which the country has gradually entered into after the global financial crisis, Japan pursues active roles and negotiates with “bigger” partners such as the US (in the TPP, Trans-Pacific Strategic Economic Partnership Agreement, or Trans-Pacific Partnership), Canada, the EU, Korea and China. Japan’s EPAs with Mexico, Chile and Peru played the role of opening a backdoor to Japan’s highly protected agriculture market, therefore urging a new dimension to the country’s foreign trade policy. While allowing Japanese farmers to export to Latin America, Japan in turn opened its domestic market of wine, beef, chicken, pork and others, which was a compromise the country had rarely made with the US and the EC (European Community)/EU during the history of trade conflicts since the 1970s. Besides agriculture, Japan is further required to abandon non-tariff barriers and to open public procurement. Whether Japan could take a leap from its familiar and “comfortable” regulated free trade policy into “real” free trade and therefore play a role in setting rules and accelerating global free trade is seriously put into question.

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    Item Type: Conference Proceedings
    Subjects for non-EU documents: EU policies and themes > External relations > EU-US
    EU policies and themes > External relations > EU-Latin America
    Countries > Japan
    Subjects for EU documents: UNSPECIFIED
    EU Series and Periodicals: UNSPECIFIED
    EU Annual Reports: UNSPECIFIED
    Conference: European Union Studies Association (EUSA) > Biennial Conference > 2015 (14th), March 4-7, 2015
    Depositing User: Phil Wilkin
    Official EU Document: No
    Language: English
    Date Deposited: 13 Jul 2017 15:08
    Number of Pages: 13
    Last Modified: 13 Jul 2017 15:08

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