correct its protectionist trade policies, it is important for Japan and
the European Union to build a solid framework of free trade.
Under the EPA, duties on more than 90 percent of industrial and
agricultural products will be eliminated on both sides. The two sides
have also laid down rules aimed at protecting intellectual property
rights and at facilitating electronic commerce.
when combined, account for about 30 percent of the global gross
domestic product. With the creation of a massive free trade zone, the
economic activities of both sides will be invigorated further, which
will strengthen their foundation for growth.
Japan and the EU aim to have the EPA enter into force early next year.
Both sides must move forward smoothly with the approval procedures in
their legislative bodies.
reduce tariffs, the United States has been intensifying its
protectionist policy of imposing punitive tariffs on imports. Imposing
further tariffs must, if anything, affect consumers and companies in the
United States, through such developments as higher prices for imported
the benefit of free trade will effectively check the United States,
together with the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) multilateral free
understandable that Abe emphasized during a press conference following
the signing ceremony that Japan and the EU will lead the world as
standard-bearers for free trade.
Japanese consumers will be able to buy such European products as wine
and cheese at cheaper prices. With the EU’s elimination of tariffs on
Japanese automobiles, auto parts and the like, Japan can also expect to
have more exports.
During the Diet deliberations on approving the EPA, it will be necessary
to thoroughly explain the merits to be derived from the accord, thus
spreading an understanding of free trade.
It is inevitable for livestock farmers who produce dairy or meat
products and other producers to see their output compete ever more
fiercely with European counterparts.
Japan-EU EPA and the TPP coming into effect, the government has already
been moving ahead with measures to strengthen the management of farming
households. Truly needed efforts must be steadily implemented.
Possible policy effects should be examined closely so that government
measures will not end up being a handout of budgetary funds.
It is important for both producers and local governments to make such
efforts as conducting market research to ascertain the preferences of
European consumers, as well as devising sales strategies to enhance the
brand power of Japanese-made products.