|Author Name||MUNAKATA Naoko (Senior Fellow)
|Creation Date/NO.||June 2002 02-E-006|
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This paper looks back on the process that led to the Japan-Singapore Economic Partnership Agreement (JSEPA) negotiations and explores what it takes for a new external economic policy framework to take root. In Section I and II, it analyzes the changing environment, including increase in regional integration in other areas, that surrounded Japan's trade policy, which had been solely dependent on the GATT/WTO system, and how Japan started to shift its trade policy in the wake of the Asian financial crisis and improved relations with Korea as well as ensuing proliferation of studies and negotiations of bilateral free trade agreements (FTAs) in Asia. Section III describes the new conceptualization, prompted by Japan's economic problems as well as Singapore's proposal for a bilateral FTA, of Japan's external economic policy, which is consistent with Japan's efforts toward economic restructuring. Finally Section IV discusses the challenges ahead for Japan in pursuing economic integration.