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In October 2003, the governments of Japan and of the 10-country Association of South-East Asian Nations (ASEAN) signed a general framework for a bilateral free trade agreement. In November 2004, they agreed to initiate the negotiating process. The talks started in April 2005 and ended in November 2007, and the agreement came into force on 1 December 2008.

For the Japanese government, this FTA was an important target as it tries to achieve a stronger position in Asia vis-à-vis China, Korea and United States. The finalisation of the US-Korea FTA talks in April 2007 jolted Tokyo into higher gear to get this deal completed.

The Japan-ASEAN FTA (officially a Comprehensive Economic Partnership) is a comprehensive one, covering trade in goods, services, investments, rules of origin, dispute settlement, sanitary and phyto-sanitary regulations, technical barriers to trade, economic cooperation and, on Japan’s request, intellectual property rights. For groups in Southeast Asia, it is seen as formalising ASEAN’s role as a regional manufacturing hub for Japanese corporations. It is now easier and cheaper for Japanese firms to move components (of automobiles, electronics, etc) from one ASEAN country to another, in a regional assembly line.

last update: May 2012
Photo: Government of India - licensed under the Government Open Data License - India (GODL)

Revised Japan-ASEAN trade deal takes effect
A revised free trade pact between Japan and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations facilitating the cross-border flow of services and investment entered into force on Saturday.
Japan completes procedures to amend trade agreement with ASEAN
Japan has completed its legal procedures necessary for the entry into force of the First Protocol to amend the ASEAN-Japan Agreement on Comprehensive Economic Partnership (AJCEP).
Asean, Japan sign protocol revising regional free trade treaty
The ASEAN and Japan signed the first protocol to amend the Asean-Japan Comprehensive Economic Partnership agreement.
ASEAN and Japan to ink revamped economic pact in March
Japan and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations are finalizing updates to their economic partnership agreement to resolve shelved issues on liberalizing the investment and service fields, completing a deal that took effect over a decade ago.
ASEAN wants AJCEP to be signed soon
ASEAN hopes to conclude and sign the ASEAN-Japan Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (AJCEP) soon
Japan to fund ASEAN’s economic cooperation initiatives
Japan has agreed to begin funding economic cooperation initiatives with the ASEAN early next year as both parties finalized guidelines of project selection and management, a local trade official said on Friday.
ASEAN, Japan aim to strike deal on services, investment next year
The Association of Southeast Asian Nations and Japan aim to strike a deal on liberalization of trade in services, and investment next year for incorporation into their two-year-old free trade deal, according to the draft of a joint statement for next week’s meeting of their economic ministers in Vietnam.
ASEAN-Japanese FTA to take effect Dec. 1
A comprehensive free-trade agreement between Japan and the 10-member ASEAN will enter into force Dec. 1, beginning with Japan and countries that have completed domestic ratification procedures by the end of this month, the Foreign Ministry said Tuesday.
Trade pact could lead to waste dumps
The Asean-Japan Comprehensive Economic Partnership (AJCEP) agreement, which goes before Thai parliament today, will make Thailand a waste-dumping site for Japan, critics warn.
ASEAN pledges to ratify FTA with Japan soon
Economic ministers of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, meeting in Hanoi, have pledged to work for the speedy ratification of an economic partnership agreement with Japan that is expected to take effect before the end of this year. A Philippine official says the pact will come into force on 1 October.


  • Japan-ASEAN FTA
    Official webpage on the Japan-ASEAN FTA maintained by Japan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs