TOKYO, JAPAN— Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Secretary Fred Pascual met  Minister Yasutoshi Nishimura of Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade, and Industry (METI) following their participation at the ASEAN-Japan Business Week 2023 held on 5 June 2023, in Tokyo, Japan.

In the said meeting, they agreed to further deepen Philippines-Japan bilateral relations   especially with the implementation of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) Agreement. They noted the strong economic complementarities between the two countries, particularly in the areas of investment, energy, critical minerals, carbon neutrality, innovation and digital trade, among others.  This strong economic relations can be further strengthened by the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework (IPEF) which currently is under negotiations.

In the context of the Philippines-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement (PJEPA), Secretary Pascual conveyed the country’s readiness for officials to discuss at the earliest opportunity the finalization of the General Review and requested Japan to consider enhanced market access for key Philippine exports such as cavendish bananas. In exchange, he mentioned that the Philippines is likewise ready to consider Japan’s interest in key sectors such as automotive products.

Japan serves as one of the Philippines’ major trade partners. In 2022, the country ranked as the 2nd largest trading partner of the Philippines despite the still ongoing pandemic. Reciprocally, the Philippines has emerged as a crucial market for Japanese exports. ♦

Dateof release: 07 June 2023