The much-anticipated Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement between Japan and Britain (EPA) was officially signed on 23 October, the first after Brexit, signed by London as an independent nation, and in the midst of trade negotiations between the EU and Britain, a low morality and a resurgence of coronavirus cases across Europe. British Trade Minister Liz Truss made a special visit to Tokyo to sign the new agreement and called it a “pioneer,” although he criticised the fact that it covers only a small part of the UK`s economic interests and is more favourable to Tokyo. What should have been a pioneering agreement for international trade is an economy rather than a policy – for Britain, to show that it can negotiate its own agreements without the EU, and that Japan is giving some assurances to its businesses in Britain, while uncertainty continues to surround the Brext. Dramatic times require drastic measures and, for Britain, the agreement is better than nothing, Japan has also just signed the massive trade agreement of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RECP) with China and the ten ASEAN members on 15 November, which covers nearly a third of the world economy and concludes eight years of difficult negotiations. With regard to agricultural imports into Japan, the new agreement will not introduce new quotas with lower tariffs, although London wanted to increase Stilton`s blue cheese exports. The trade agreement must now be approved by Parliament in both countries. The UK has officially signed an economic partnership agreement with Japan, which marks a historic moment, as the UK`s first major trade agreement as an independent trading nation and offers a glimpse into Global Britain`s potential. The agreement also includes a strong commitment from Japan to support the UK`s accession to the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), one of the world`s largest free trade zones, covering 13% of the world economy and more than $110 billion in trade in 2019. This signature marks a new, closer alliance between the United Kingdom and Japan, in which our two like-minded democracies will work together when the United Kingdom assumes the presidency of the G7, where we commit to free trade. Both countries hail the agreement as a “historic moment” and are working to strengthen their economic relations. Tokyo also hopes that Britain will play a greater role in Indopapacific security in order to curb China`s expansion.
“It is of the utmost importance that the supply chain between the UK and the EU be maintained after the UK`s withdrawal,” he said. Noriko Hama, an economics professor at Kyoto`s Doshisha University, said that both London and Tokyo had chosen to avoid “avoiding the difficult issue” and quickly reach an agreement on bilateral trade, which was politically beneficial for the leaders of both countries.