This groundbreaking agreement will significantly improve Australian businesses` access to the world`s third largest economy. With the entry into force of the Japanese Free Trade Agreement in 2015, employers will no longer have to offer jobs to indigenous peoples or prove that no one can fill vacancies until Japanese nationals eligible for 457 visas are employed.  Japan is an economic heavyweight: it is the world`s third largest economy with a value of nearly $5 trillion in 2013 and Australia`s second largest trading partner. Two-way trade between Japan and Australia totalted $70.8 billion in 2013, or more than 10% of Australia`s total trade. The Wire reports on the free trade agreement between Japan and Australia, including an interview with AFTINET organizer Dr. Patricia Ranald. Australia`s negotiations for an agreement with Japan began under the Howard government in 2007.  In April 2014, Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott led a trade delegation to Japan, South Korea and China. The three economies accounted for more than half of Australia`s two-way trade.
 During the Japanese leg, Abbott was received by Emperor Akihito and secured the key elements of a free trade agreement with Shinzo Abe`s government.  This publication was published prior to the entry into force of the Japan-Australia Economic Partnership Agreement (JAEPA) on January 15, 2015. Japan is the world`s third largest economy and has a long and important trade relationship with Queensland. It is Queensland`s second largest trading partner, worth $8.8 billion, or nearly 20% of Queensland`s total exports. Japanese companies could sue Australian governments under clauses that could be included in the Australia-Japan free trade agreement, writes Peter Martin for the Sydney Morning Herald. Dr. Ranald points out that we are not in a position to see the text before the agreement is signed and argues that there should be a more democratic and transparent process for trade agreements. The Japan-Australia Economic Partnership Agreement (JAEPA) offers significant benefits to the Australian economy and facilitates business with Japan, our second largest trading partner. The agreement will strengthen and strengthen trade between two of the largest economies in the Asia-Pacific region. While previous duties on new car imports from Japan have been abolished, the agreement provided for a flat fee of $12,000 for the importation of used vehicles from Japan.  The full text of the agreement, as well as useful information and fact sheets of the free trade agreement, are available on the website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade.
For specific questions about the agreement, email JapanEPA@dfat.gov.au or call the DFAT North Asia hotline on 02 6261 1888. Importers can contact the Department of the Interior The article describes concerns that controversial investor state dispute clauses (ISDRs) could be included in the agreement and contain quotes from AFTINET`s Convener, said Dr Patricia Ranald Australian Department of Foreign Affairs: “The agreement will provide valuable preferential access to Australia`s exports and is by far the liberalised trade agreement ever concluded by Japan.