07 May, 2012
China and Korea agreed to start bilateral FTA negotiation. Dmestic procedures have been completed and they are ready anytime. It may affect Japan’s scenario to agree on the early start of Japan/Cjina/Koreat FTA at the summit meeting of the three this month. It might also affect Japan’s strategy to join the TPP to a certain extent.
Our allies will start discussion on strategy toward summer and autumn.
＜Clippings from The Nikkei Newspaper＞
１，May 01 edition:
・Japanese Prime Minister Noda paid the official visit to the US, but no specific progress for the TPP negotiation. It is the first official visit for the DPJ Government in three years and it was by the Koizumi/Bush Administration in 2006 that the previous joint statement was released.
The statement only said the two governments would continue the prior consultation to push the TPP forward.
・Japan/India Foreign Ministers agreed to establish an inter-government framework for dialogue on maritime security.
The two governments will keep in mind Chinese presence in the Indian Sea and promote cooperation.
２，May 1 to 3 edition: China and Korea agreed on 2 May to start the bilateral FTA negotiation
・President HU Jintao and Lee Myung-bak agreed the start of the negotiation last January, and the two governments continued prior negotiations on the process and scope of the agreement by issue experts. The prior negotiation was finalized at the meeting between Korean Minister for Trade, Lee Tae-ho and Chinese Minister of Commerce, CHEN Deming on 2 May.
Now the outcome of Japan/China/Korea high level meeting on 13 May will be noteworthy where Japanese government seeks for the mutual agreement on the start of the three-country FTA negotiation.
China and Korea agreed as the followings.
A. To try and complete the negotiation in two years.
B. To take two-step negotiation to carefully negotiate on sensitive items, so that protective measures may be considered.
C. To classify sensitive items as “sensitive” and “very sensitive”.
D. To seek for high-level agreement on services and investment.
・Korea has been cautious about the FTA with Japan because of big amount of trade deficit with Japan for a long time and tries to capture Chinese market by getting a head start on competitors. An estimate tells that 17.3 billion USD will be replaced in Chinese market by export from Korea in which Japanese share is 5.3 billion USD.
On the other hand, Korea strongly seeks for tariff elimination in agriculture, while Chine in manufacturing sector. Korean government official states that the negotiation will be ssuspended if the first step doesn’t proceed smoothly.
(Chinese trade partners and the market share in 2011)
(Export from Korea by the destination and the market share in 2011. Amount : USD 550billion)
３，May 5 edition
・US/China Strategic and Economic Dialogue ended. Negotiation on
investment agreement agreed to be restarted and enhancement of IP right agreed upon. (The rest of the text omitted.)
・Japan and USA agreed to proceed with “Japan/USA +1” cooperation for
Asia-wide security to restrain China in the region. (The rest of the text omitted.)
＜Anti-TPP activities update.＞
Not much to report. Will start discussion on our strategy and action towards summer and autumn.
Your information on activities during the Dallas round will be valued.