Japan has continued to make progress in signing and operating trade agreements, according to data from the Japanese government and the World Trade Organization (WTO).
On February 4, 2016, Japan signed an agreement to join the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).
Upon ratification of the TPP, Japan and the other participating countries planned not only to eliminate tariffs on goods, but also to liberalize services and investment, and to establish rules in a wide range of areas, such as intellectual property, e-commerce and the environment.
Although Japan ratified the TPP on January 20, 2017, the United States announced its formal withdrawal from the TPP on January 23, 2017.
Then, on March 8, 2018, Japan and 10 other countries, excluding the United States, signed the Trans-Pacific Partnership Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement (CPTPP), under which each signatory country agreed to begin the necessary preparations for the implementation of the TPP.
The Trans-Pacific Partnership Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement entered into force for Japan, Mexico, Singapore, New Zealand, Canada and Australia on December 30, 2018, for Vietnam on January 14, 2019 and for Peru on September 19, 2021.
Then, on February 1, 2021, the United Kingdom formally applied to join the TPP.
Japan intends to facilitate the process of initiating negotiations with the United Kingdom in accordance with the application procedures under the TPP and in cooperation with the other members.
Japan has also entered into Economic Partnership Agreements, or EPAs, with several countries, including Singapore, Mexico, Malaysia, Chile and Thailand.
As of April 2022, Japan had signed a total of 21 EPAs (including the TPP) with 24 countries, plus the European Union.
Under the EPAs, Japan will work extensively with counterparts to, among other things, reduce or eliminate tariffs, grant most-favored-nation status in the areas of investment, services and government procurement, and expedite patent review and enhance patent protection in the field of intellectual property.
In addition, Japan is a member of international organizations based on international trade treaties and other agreements that seek to promote free trade in the international marketplace, including: the WTO, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), the World Customs Organization and the International Trade Center.