Japan 'eager' to join trilateral FTA with China, South Korea
By Ding Qingfen, China Daily/Asia News NetworkJapan is becoming increasingly “eager” to join a free trade agreement (FTA) with China and South Korea while it is unable to join a broader Asian trade pact, and as Beijing and Seoul began negotiations on an agreement, said the ministry of commerce.
May 28, 2012, 12:18 am TWN
“Late last year, Japan was not very active regarding the trilateral FTA,” said a high-level official from the ministry's Department of International Trade and Economic Affairs at a conference on the trilateral FTA feasibility study in Qingdao, Shandong province.
But after China and South Korea agreed to promote bilateral trade through a trade pact and Japan was still not allowed to join the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a trade initiative promoted by the United States, Tokyo became much more positive about a trilateral FTA this year, said the official, who declined to be named.
In mid-April, the leaders of China, Japan and South Korea agreed to start negotiations this year on an FTA.
The three nations are major economies in the Asia-Pacific region, and they together accounted for 19.6 percent of the global gross domestic product and 18.5 percent of exports in 2010, according to a feasibility study on the trade pact issued by the three governments last year.
Following academic research conducted from 2003 to 2009, which showed that a trilateral trade pact could create commercial benefits for all of the countries involved, leaders from the three nations in 2009 proposed conducting a joint study among their governments, industries and academics.