In the past, European companies have faced trade barriers by exporting to Japan, which sometimes made them more difficult to compete with. Other objectives include other objectives that are slipping into Japan`s bilateral trade agenda: in early 2005, Japan began exploring possible discussions with Switzerland and negotiations began in 2007. In 2006, spurred on by concerns about access to energy resources, Japan pledged to restart discussions for a free trade agreement with Kuwait and other oil and Gas countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC). Japanese companies are also increasingly concerned about international trade disadvantages, leading to free trade agreements with Brazil, South Africa, New Zealand and even some pious rhetoric about a U.S.-Japan deal. At the end of 2011, Japan expressed interest in negotiating a free trade agreement with Burma. In March 2012, signs of the free trade agreement with Mongolia and Canada were announced. The United States and Japan have concluded a trade agreement on market access for certain agricultural and industrial products, with plans to continue negotiations for an expanded free trade agreement. On October 17, 2019, the United States and Japan agreed on market access for certain agricultural and industrial products. Japan`s legislature approved the agreement on December 5, 2019. President 9974`s proclamation was issued on December 26, 2019, with the effective date of January 1, 2020. On 30 December 2019, the Communication of the Federal Register (84 FR 72187) on the implementation of the agreement was published.
(1) Free trade agreements with economic benefits have the effect of increasing import and export markets, moving to more efficient industrial structures and improving the competitive environment. In addition, free trade agreements help reduce the likelihood that economic frictions will become political problems and help expand and harmonize existing trade-related rules and systems. (2) The political and diplomatic benefits of trade agreements strengthen Japan`s negotiating power in WTO negotiations and the outcome of free trade negotiations could influence and accelerate WTO negotiations. Deepening economic interdependence leads to a sense of political trust between the countries that are parties to these agreements and expands Japan`s global diplomatic influence and interests. (1) Compliance with WTO agreements Three points must be considered. First, tariffs and other trade rules should not be higher or more restrictive than tariffs and other corresponding trade rules prior to the establishment of the free trade agreement. Second, they must eliminate tariffs and other trade rules that are restrictive for most of all trade. Third, they must complete the ATR within 10 years, at least in principle. The reference to „the bulk of total trade“ implies that countries must achieve a favourable standard of liberalization in terms of trade volume against international standards (based on the figures provided, the NAFTA average is 99%, while the average for the Free Trade Agreement between Mexico and the EU is 97%). While our ultimate goal is to strengthen an economic partnership with ASEAN as a whole, we should first make rapid efforts to establish bilateral economic partnerships individually on the basis of the Japan-Singapore Economic Partnership Agreement with key ASEAN member states (including Thailand, the Philippines, Malaysia and Indonesia) , who have shown positive interest in a bilateral free trade agreement with Japan.