The Yomiuri Shimbun | 19 October 2004
Joint Japan-China study to examine FTA impact
The Japan External Trade Organization said Sunday that it had established a joint research group with a Chinese government institute to examine the possible impact on the Japanese and Chinese economies of a bilateral free trade agreement.
It is the first government-level joint research group established on a potential Japan-China FTA.
The group, established with a Chinese State Council-directed research institute, is expected to complete its investigation by December 2005.
The study group will comprise JETRO President Hirokazu Okumura and five JETRO officials as well as the director of the Institute of Asia-Pacific Studies, Zhang Yunling, and five other Chinese Academy of Social Sciences officials.
The group is expected to focus on how the conclusion of an FTA would affect the industrial structure in each country.
Japan is currently engaged in negotiations on free trade agreements with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, South Korea, Thailand and the Philippines. But there are no current moves to conclude a bilateral FTA with China.
JETRO is reported to have established the study group because it believes that expanding bilateral economic exchanges between Japan and China will intensify debate toward a bilateral trade agreement.