Topics handled by WTO committees and agreements
Issues covered by the WTO’s committees and agreements



Trade liberalization continues, notwithstanding the global financial crisis

Since its previous Trade Policy Review, Japan has introduced measures aimed at further liberalizing its trade and investment regimes. Japan has not introduced new trade measures to protect its market since the onset of the global financial crisis in September 2008. Indeed, it has subscribed to commitments taken at the highest political level in the context of the G-20, APEC and the summit meeting between Japan, China and Korea to refrain over the next 12 months from raising new barriers to trade and investment, imposing new export restrictions, or implementing WTO inconsistent measures to stimulate exports, according to a WTO Secretariat report on the trade policies and practices of Japan.

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The authorities continue to promote structural reforms, including regulatory reforms and strengthening competition policy. Structural reforms could help reduce the cost of doing business and thereby increase Japan’s attractiveness to inward FDI. This should result in increased competition and productivity, the report notes.

The report also says that labour productivity lags behind that of other major industrialized countries and that Agriculture remains a sector relatively protected from foreign competition, and this acts as a drag on Japan’s growth. The report also states that Japan’s medium and long-term growth prospects will depend on its ability to strike a balance between monetary and fiscal policies in tandem with further structural reforms.

The WTO report, along with a policy statement by the Government of Japan, will be the basis for the Trade Policy Review of Japan by the Trade Policy Review Body of the WTO on 18 and 20 February 2009.

The following documents are available in MS Word format.


Note  back to top

Trade Policy Reviews are an exercise, mandated in the WTO agreements, in which member countries’ trade and related policies are examined and evaluated at regular intervals. Significant developments that may have an impact on the global trading system are also monitored. For each review, two documents are prepared: a policy statement by the government of the member under review, and a detailed report written independently by the WTO Secretariat. These two documents are then discussed by the WTO’s full membership in the Trade Policy Review Body (TPRB). These documents and the proceedings of the TPRB’s meetings are published shortly afterwards.

Print copies of previous TPR publications are available for sale from the WTO Secretariat, Centre William Rappard, 154 rue de Lausanne, 1211 Genève 21 and through the on-line bookshop.

The TPR publications are also available from our co-publisher Bernan Press, 4611-F Assembly Drive, Lanham, MD 20706-4391, United States.


Schedule of forthcoming reviews  back to top

Brazil: 9 and 11 March2009
Fiji: 25 and 27 March 2009
European Communities: 6 and 8 April 2009



Full list of previous TPRs


The WTO report, along with a policy statement by the Government, will be the basis for the Trade Policy Review (TPR) by the Trade Policy Review Body of the WTO.

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