Japan FTA tipped for July

The Australian, Canberra

Japan FTA tipped for July

By Andrew Burrell

7 April 2014

One of Japan’s most influential corporate leaders says he expects Australia and Japan will conclude a free-trade agreement in July.

Inpex Corporation chief executive Toshiaki Kitamura said in Perth today that the agreement would send “a very, very strong message” about the strength of economic ties between Australia and Japan.

Describing the FTA as “a very good idea”, he said he expected it would be signed when Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe travels to Canberra in July.

“Economic co-operation between the two countries has strengthened,” he said on the sidelines of a major oil and gas conference.

“If we succeed in striking an FTA between the two countries, it would give a very, very strong message.”

Inpex is building the $US34 billion Ichthys gas project in Darwn.

Mr Kitamura said he expected total revenues from the project would exceed $250 billion with receipts to various levels of government in Australia expected to surpass $100bn.

“Over its 40 years operational life, the project will create thousands of jobs and offer opportunities and benefits for generations to come,” he said.

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