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The Policy Making Process in FTA Negotiations: A Case Study of Japanese Bilateral EPAs

Discussion Papers

No.138

by HIGASHI Shigeki
March 2008

ABSTRACT

This paper analyzes Japanese bilateral EPA negotiations, focusing on the areas that each country decided were most important, as well as which actors played the most important roles in each set of negotiations. The negotiations with Mexico and Thailand, which tried to increase agricultural exports to Japan through FTAs, will be discussed. Japan, one should note, still seeks to protect its agricultural sector in spite of the spread of liberalization. The Philippines, Thailand and Malaysia’s efforts to improve and compete in developing their automotive industries, in the face of the completion of AFTA in 2010, are also examined. In addition, this paper discusses whether economic cooperation, the essential Japanese strategy in EPA negotiations, alters the negotiation process in any significant way.

Keywords: FTA, EPA, policy making, Japan, ASEAN
JEL classification: D78, F13, L52

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