While various free trade agreements (FTA) have been struck in Asia, no bilateral deals have been reached between Japan and China or between Japan and the South Korea.
With Japan and 14 other countries having agreed to the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), a major question is if Japan, China and South Korea can overcome their political differences to move forward on economic cooperation.
Naoko Munakata, who was closely involved in the negotiations that led to Japan’s first FTA with Singapore, as well as the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) free trade arrangement, was asked about the significance of the FTAs.
Munakata was a former commissioner of the Japan Patent Office before becoming adviser to Dai-Ichi Life Research Institute Inc.
Excerpts of the interview follow. Read More.