When are a few sea-swept, uninhabited rocky islets more than a bunch of rocks? When they involve lucrative fisheries and emotional issues that hark back to the days of the Japanese Empire.
The public, along with NGOs, academics and business groups — both pro- and anti-free trade — should be well-informed about the development of the Indonesia-Japan EPA.
Philippine Trade and Industry Secretary Juan B. Santos said there is no rush in the proposed bilateral free-trade agreement with the US noting the country’s trade with the US is slowly losing steam while gaining markets elsewhere particularly, ASEAN, Japan and Greater China.
Japan plans to expand trade in Southeast Asia through a network of bilateral free trade pacts - from Thailand and Malaysia to Indonesia and the Philippines, a senior Japanese trade official said.
A joint study group, consisting of members from China, Japan and South Korea, issued a report recently on possible trilateral investment arrangements between the three countries, which recommended that a legal framework concerning investment among the three countries should be explored in the near future. Such an investment arrangement, if well operated, would give a fresh boost to the start of FTA negotiations.
More Japanese investments and trade opportunities are expected to pour into the Philippines following a recent visit from one of Japan’s biggest trade groups - the Kansai Economic Federation (Kankeiren) - and the forthcoming realization of the Japan-Philippines Economic Partnership Agreement.
The bilateral negotiations have made little progress as South Korea has criticized Japanese-planned liberalization of farm product imports as being far from sufficient.
An FTA with Switzerland, to be reached by April, would allow Japan to strengthen its position to fight back pressure to open up its agricultural market.
The Japanese government is considering allowing in more Thai workers by relaxing employment conditions for cooks, masseurs and caregivers under a proposed free-trade agreement.
Indonesia risks losing up to US$5 billion in non-oil and gas exports to Japan per year, should Thailand succeed in ongoing negotiations with Asia’s largest economy for a free trade agreement.
Japan and the Philippines have agreed to speed up work to sign a bilateral free trade agreement and compared notes over Japan’s plan to tightening immigration control over Philippine nationals.
A free trade agreement (FTA) between Indonesia and Japan, which has been initiated by the two governments, will not pose a threat to a similar trade deal currently being developed between Japan and Southeast Asian countries, an official said on Monday.
Products made by South Korean companies in an industrial park north of the demilitarized zone are likely to form the latest kink in sputtering free trade talks between Tokyo and Seoul.
Indonesia and Japan are scheduled to hold a two-day meeting to discuss a possible bilateral trade agreement on Monday.
We - farmers, fisherfolks, rural women, workers from the formal and informal sectors, and NGOs belonging to the Stop the New Round! Coalition - express our strong opposition to the Philippines government’s mad pursuit of bilateral free trade agreements particularly with Japan, China and the USA.
Two members of the Philippine House of Representatives are pushing for a congressional inquiry into the bilateral trade and investments agreements entered into by the government, which did not go through proper public consultations despite their far-reaching impact on the economy as well as the provisions of the Constitution.
Taiwan’s Minister of Economic Affairs Ho Mei-yueh called on Japan to strike a bilateral free trade agreement, saying such a pact will be "very beneficial to Japan."
The government wants to have it both ways with its trade diplomacy this year, focusing on bilateral free trade agreements in the first half and multilateral negotiations at the World Trade Organization in the second.
Japan will push to conclude a basic bilateral trade agreement with Thailand and Malaysia within the next few months, according to a senior trade official, who denied suggestions from a member of his own ministry that talks with those two countries had stalled.
As approved by the Council of Ministers on the Promotion of Economic Partnership on 21 December 2004