Changing Commercial Policy in Japan, 1985-2010

Masahiro Kawai*, Shujiro Urata

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

4 Citations (Scopus)


This article examines the changing nature of Japan's commercial policy over the last twenty-five years. The article is organized as follows. Section 2 reviews the changing structures of trade, foreign direct investment, and the economy in Japan that underlay policy changes. Section 3 focuses on Japan's commercial policy between 1985 and 1999, when policy-makers adopted a two-track approach of relying on multilateral liberalization under the GATT/WTO and open regionalism under Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation on the one hand and on the bilateral trade relationship with the United States on the other. Section 4 examines Japan's more recent commercial policy since the turn of the century as the country increasingly began to rely on bilateral and plurilateral economic partnership agreements, particularly with-but not limited to-East Asian economies. It is argued that agricultural sector liberalization is key to the further integration of Japan with the Asian and global economies. Section 5 concludes.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Oxford Handbook of International Commercial Policy
PublisherOxford University Press
ISBN (Print)9780199968817, 9780195378047
Publication statusPublished - 2012 Sept 1


  • Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation
  • Bilateral trade
  • Economic partnership agreements
  • Foreign direct investment
  • GATT
  • Japanese commercial policy
  • Trade liberalization
  • Trade policy
  • WTO

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Economics, Econometrics and Finance(all)


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