bilaterals.org logo
bilaterals.org logo

Australia-Japan

Australia and Japan began FTA negotiations in April 2007 after clearing a joint feasibility study (and signing a joint plan for military cooperation). As of April 2012, 15 rounds of talks had been held.

The deal is supposed to be a comprehensive one, but there are serious differences over agriculture, automobiles and energy. Japan has been trying to exclude sensitive farm products — including beef, sugar, dairy, wheat and barley — from the scope of the deal to protect its farmers. Australia, however, wants the preferential market access for farm products beyond what was agreed at WTO. Meanwhile, Japanese farmers and consumers, with full support from groups in Australia, have been mobilising to ensure that any Japan-Australia FTA provides safeguards against GM foods, particularly canola and beef. In effect, since 2007 Australia states have been reneging on their previous GM-free policies and Japanese consumers rely on few sources for GM-free foods like canola oil. Many analysts have viewed the conclusion of this deal as a prerequisite for Japan to enter into Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiations.

last update: May 2012


Australia, Japan set to launch FTA talks
Australia and Japan expect to launch negotiations on a free trade deal late this year or early in 2007, Trade Minister Mark Vaile said.
Japan on verge of signing FTA
Australia is preparing to move ahead with a free-trade agreement next year with its most important trading partner, Japan, on the 50th anniversary of the ground-breaking treaty of commerce between the two countries.
NFF wants agriculture included in Japan FTA
The National Farmers Federation (NFF) is backing increased overseas investment between Japan and Australian agribusiness, as part of any free trade deal between the countries.
Australia, Japan agree FTA study details
Australia and Japan have finalised the details of a planned free-trade feasibility study, Trade Minister Mark Vaile has said. But despite the breakthrough, Mr Vaile cautioned that any deal on a free trade agreement (FTA) was still a long way off and faced political hurdles.
No FTA with Australia: Japanese minister
Japan’s Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Minister Mineichi Iwanaga says Japan has no intention of concluding a free-trade agreement with Australia.
Farmers want guarantee on Japan FTA
The National Farmers Federation says a free trade agreement (FTA) between Australia and Japan would be counterproductive if it did not include agriculture
Agriculture must be in Japan FTA: Labor
There is no point proceeding with a feasibility study into a free trade agreement between Australia and Japan if agriculture is excluded from the deal, Labor says.
FTA might ignore farmers
Agriculture might not feature in a free trade deal between Australia and Japan, with Prime Minister John Howard acknowledging it may be too big an obstacle to overcome.
Step closer toward Japan-Australia FTA
Heading down what Japan’s agricultural sector fear could be a bumpy road, Prime Minster Junichiro Koizumi and Australian Prime Minister John Howard on Wednesday announced a joint feasibility study into a free trade agreement between the two countries.
Agriculture ’a must’ in Japan FTA
There is no point proceeding with a feasibility study into a free trade agreement between Australia and Japan if agriculture is excluded from the deal, Labor says.