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Business / Trade in Japan

  • Abe’s revived mandate needs to deliver a foreign policy checkmate

    JAPAN, 2017/11/04 Next Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s landslide electoral victory, it is time to go back to work, and foreign policy is not an area where Abe can afford complacency. His success depends on maintaining a stable power base through successful domestic policy, but at this point in time it seems reasonable to expect that he will serve his full nine-year tenure as LDP President and prime minister until September 2021. On foreign and security policy there are three vital issues to consider: North Korea, Russia and China.
  • Saudi Arabia’s Footprints in Southeast Asia

    BRUNEI , 2017/11/02 At the same time as King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud of Saudi Arabia embarked on a month-long trip to Asia in February this year, Western media outlets led with incredulous stories about the monarch’s large entourage and their mountain of luggage. Traditionally obsessed with the desert kingdom’s human rights record and the national-sponsored brand of Islam, those same outlets took delight in touting the trip as a sign of Saudi economic weakness.
  • A Stronger Australia in Southeast Asia?

    AFGHANISTAN, 2017/11/02 Early next year, Sydney will play host to a appropriate summit between Australia and the members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), which is commemorating its 50th anniversary this year. But as we approach that conference, questions remain about what role Canberra should really play in Southeast Asia amid concerning developments within the subregion, vexing security issues in Asia additional broadly, and uncertainty over the role of other powers inclunding the United States. Australia’s position and standing as a wealthy, Western-oriented country in the region, one would think, would give it an chance at the negotiating table where critical issues like North Korea and a potential conflict in the South China Sea will dictate the broader schedule. And some analysts continue to argue that the Australian government should take a additional proactive stance with ASEAN, which is facing difficult times as individual members take unilateral action to silence dissent, upsetting civil rights groups and a lot of in the West.
  • Japan–EU negotiations racing against protectionism

    JAPAN, 2017/07/10 The Japan–EU Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) negotiations appear to be coming down to the wire. Both sides are aiming to reach a framework agreement prior to the G20 summit on 7 July. Agriculture, as usual, is one of the sticking points, particularly for items such as cheese. The domestic political setting in Japan shows some of the usual signs of tension. The Japanese government is seeking to advance the country’s wider trade goals by reducing tariffs and other import barriers in overseas markets. On the other hand, Japan’s farm lobby — led by the Japan Agricultural Cooperatives Group (JA Group) and their allied politicians in the ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) — is seeking to maintain specific barriers to imports of farm products given Japan’s small-scale and inefficient agricultural sector.
  • Trump threat drives Japan and China closer

    CHINA, 2017/07/10 Sino–Japanese relations have been stuck in a political quagmire for over six years. Tensions have resurfaced time and time again over the Senkaku/Diaoyu Islands since September 2010, at the same time as a Chinese fishing boat rammed two Japanese coast guard boats and its captain was arrested by the Japanese. Japan harbours suspicions that Chinese aggression is aimed at an eventual retreat of the United States from Asia and the Pacific. And China continues to lambast Japan for its failure to face up to its history in the Sino–Japanese wars, inclunding its contemporary push towards re-militarisation.
  • EU, Japan Pledge To Tie The Trade Knot Within Months

    JAPAN, 2017/07/08 The European Union and Japan agreed the broad lines of a trade transaction on Thursday (6 July), promising to iron out the last details within months. “Today we agreed in principle on an Economic Partnership Agreement, the impact of which goes far beyond our shores,” European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said during a press conference at the end of the extraordinary EU-Japan Summit. European Council President Donald Tusk stressed that the transaction is not just about trade but about shared values and committing to the highest standards in areas such as labour, safety, environmental and consumer protection.
  • The next chapter for the Trans-Pacific Partnership

    BRUNEI , 2017/06/27 The next of trade and cross border commerce in Asia and the Pacific and the US role in Asia’s economy were put in doubt by Donald Trump’s withdrawal of the United States from the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) economic agreement. The TPP was the economic arm of President Obama’s pivot to Asia. It was as well supposed to set the rules and standards of trade in Asia and for the world. It is no amaze again, that some of the remaining 11 members of the TPP are trying to save the agreement even without US participation. A lot of political capital was expended in negotiating the TPP and nations are looking for ways to maintain the momentum of economic integration.
  • Japan–Taiwan relations under Beijing’s watchful eye

    CHINA, 2017/05/07 International politics surrounding Taiwan is quietly changing thanks to a rejuvenation in Japan–Taiwanese relations. But revitalised bilateral ties are likely to spell trouble for by presently rocky Sino–Japan relations. Since Tsai Ing-wen and the pro-independence Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) rose to power in Taiwan’s 2016 presidential election, the new government prioritised developing economic partnerships and trade agreements with economies other than China. The Tsai Ing-wen government has been particularly eager to expand such ties with Japan because of its anxiety over Taiwan’s economic dependence on mainland China.
  • Chinese Premier Li Keqiang urged China and Japan

    CHINA, 2016/09/06 Chinese Premier Li Keqiang urged China and Japan to make joint efforts to push bilateral relations back to a normal track. Li told visiting secretariat chief of Japan's National Security Council Shotaro Yachi that the two nations should accumulate positive factors and reduce negative elements in bilateral ties. Both sides should adhere to the four political documents reached by the two nations in 1972, 1978, 1998 and 2008, said the premier. The China-Japan relationship is still very fragile although there is a momentum of development, according to Li.
  • The Chinese elephant in Australia–Japan relations

    CHINA, 2016/03/04 Before this month, Foreign Minister Julie Bishop visited Tokyo, where she outlined an increasing emphasis on security cooperation between Japan and Australia. The next day she was in Beijing, where she reportedly received a frosty reception. The two are not unrelated — Beijing is not thrilled about Australia’s growing security ties with Japan. Because Australia is concerned about China’s increasing assertiveness in the region, but at the same time benefits from China economically, we find ourselves in somewhat of a foreign policy pickle. In this very complex situation, it is critical that Australian policymakers respond with both immediate and long-term outcomes in mind. To understand the long-term implications for Australia’s interests of policies drawing Japan and Australia closer together, we need to understand how Chinese policymakers view the world and China’s role within it.