Radio Australia | 21 June 2008
Japan’s Parliament approves free trade with ASEAN
Japan’s Parliament, the Diet has endorsed a free trade agreement with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations.
The accord is not only about goods, but also covers services and investment.
Japan will repeal tariffs on 93 percent of imports from ASEAN by value within 10 years of the deal taking effect.
Meanwhile, six major ASEAN members — Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore and Thailand — will eliminate tariffs on 90 percent of imports from Japan such as cars within 10 years.
A more gradual tariff elimination table has been set for the remaining four ASEAN members with smaller economies —Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos and Burma.
The agreement will come into force on the first day of the second month after Japan and at least one of the 10 ASEAN member complete domestic procedures, such as parliamentary endorsement.