The governments of Japan and the Philippines reached a basic political agreement on the Japan-Philippines Economic Partnership Agreement (JPEPA) on 29 November 2004 at the ASEAN Summit in Laos. The agreement was then signed in Helsinki on 9 September 2006 and came into force on 11 December 2008. It was the Philippines’ first free trade agreement and Japan’s fourth.
JPEPA was and remains hugely controversial. Filipinos — and on some issues, Japanese groups — mobilised to stop the deal for many reasons, including the following:
the small job market openings for Filipino healthcare workers are very limited (the workers must learn Japanese, undergo equivalency exams, stay for only a restricted time etc) and overlook the real potential for abuse of Filipino workers in Japan;
concerns that Japan will gain access to and be able to overfish Philippine waters, ruining the livelihoods of small fisherfolk;
any supposed benefits for increased pineapple and banana exports to Japan would in fact go to corporations like Dole and Del Monte, and their local business partners, who own and run the plantations in the Philippines — not to small or landless Filipino farmers;
its unconstitutionality, since JPEPA allows Japanese corporations to own land, operate schools and practice certain professions in the Philippines which the Philippine Constitution does not allow;
the huge imbalances in the deal, e.g. Japan excluded almost 200 tariff lines from the agreement, the Philippines only six; and
the fact that JPEPA gives explicit legal ground for Japan to dump toxic wastes in the Philippines.
last update: May 2012
Japan plans to expand the coverage of the Japan-Philippines Economic Partnership Agreement to include the e-commerce sector and more concessions in agriculture.
The Filipino Department of Trade and Industry will soon review the Philippines-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement, aiming to request its counterpart in Japan to lower the seasonal tariff on pineapples and bananas.
The Philippines has been seeking review of JPEPA since Japan has not fulfilled its commitments under the agreement.
The Philippines will put forward its interests on agriculture sector during the renegotiation of the Philippines-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement (PJEPA).
Tokyo is pressing Manila to relax its import restrictions on farm products from the Fukushima prefecture in exchange for more trade concessions under the Japan-Philippines Economic Partnership Agreement, the Department of Agriculture revealed on Wednesday.
A group of banana exporters is calling for a renegotiation of the Philippines-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement, saying that shipments to Japan have been dwindling due to tariffs that make them uncompetitive.
The Japanese Chamber of Commerce and Industry of the Philippines will appeal to the government anew to retain the existing fiscal incentive regime in an upcoming meeting under the Japan-Philippines Economic Partnership Agreement (Jpepa).
Notwithstanding the ruling on the legality of the Japan-Philippines Economic Partnership Agreement (JPEPA) that is expected in the coming weeks, over 300 Filipino nurses and caregivers are bound for Japan in an attempt at gaining employment.
The Philippine Supreme Court has gone a step closer to resolving a six-year-old petition seeking to stop the implementation of the controversial Japan-Philippines Economic Partnership Agreement (JPEPA).
Six years after the controversial Japan-Philippines Economic Partnership Agreement (JPEPA) was signed, Philippines may be becoming the world’s dump site for toxic waste.