politics

Japan, Britain sign free trade deal for post-Brexit era

57 Comments
By YURI KAGEYAMA

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57 Comments
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The process to the EPA has been very smooth, much in contrast to the post Brexit negotiations with the EU. Perhaps both sides' economies are complementary rather than competing while sharing common agenda.

Britain has also been active in accession talk for the TPP, could go ahead of other prospective members.

1 ( +7 / -6 )

“How fitting it is to be in the Land of the Rising Sun to welcome in the dawn of a new era of free trade,”

and everyone cringed.

12 ( +24 / -12 )

I sincerely hope this means decent cheese, as we have been promised.

18 ( +22 / -4 )

Britain has also been active in accession talk for the TPP, could go ahead of other prospective members.

Im not convinced the UK should be a part of the Trans PACIFIC partnership. Theyd be better off sticking to their region to forge deals, for many reasons.

But this free-trade pact just signed will mean cheaper Japanese cars, machines tech and robots for UK, and much cheaper British drugs, meat, cheese, beer and Scotch for Japanese. Win-win!

11 ( +16 / -5 )

and everyone cringed.

I certainly did. It probably sounded clever on the desk of a thirty year old speech writer in Whitehall, but sounds awful in delivery.

9 ( +15 / -6 )

English sparkling wine, made-in-Britain coats and shoes, Stilton cheese, as well as pork and biscuits from Britain, will become cheaper in Japan.

You don't even see English sparkling wine for sale in English supermarkets!

Obviously some fashion items will do well in Japan, but I don't think that there is a massive market for stilton in Japan.

It's helpful, but not a game changer for post-Brexit Britain.

-1 ( +8 / -9 )

I’ve bought English sparkling wine from Sainsbury’s and Lidl. It’s very nice,

9 ( +12 / -3 )

No tariff on the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine in Japan, I assume.

1 ( +6 / -5 )

The process to the EPA has been very smooth, much in contrast to the post Brexit negotiations with the EU. Perhaps both sides' economies are complementary rather than competing while sharing common agenda.

Japan has no incentive for making it difficult.

7 ( +10 / -3 )

Time for Greggs to hit Japan!

7 ( +10 / -3 )

Bring out the Branston!

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Pork scratchings and a pickled egg for me tonight!

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Beef from Britain doesn’t sound very appetizing. Have they successfully eradicated the mad cow disease?

-14 ( +6 / -20 )

Bring out the Branston!

Branston has had Japanese ownership since 2013. Shame you can't actually buy it here.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Branston pickle is owned by Mizkan and you still can't find the bloody stuff here!

I always take it with a pinch of salt when they harp on about goods becoming cheaper with these trade deals because I doubt any reduction will be passed on to the consumer here.

I agree with Luddite, I would love to see dry British sparkling wine over here. There's some really good stuff being made that I always have when back visiting family.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

“How fitting it is to be in the Land of the Rising Sun to welcome in the dawn of a new era of free trade,”

Is this then, where the rising sun meets the white cliffs of Dover? there'll be no paling, I hope.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

At least it should be easier to buy stuff online from Blighty, even if they don't sell it here. Looking forward to getting shoes without getting hit with Y5000 import duties as happened last time I tried it.

But deliveries might get caught up in generally snarled up shipping situations over there from January, the way things are looking at the moment, so lay off the online Stilton orders for now.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

For some reason the lyrics to a Pink Floyd song come to mind, "Free does not mean free when the cost is not just money".

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

English sparkling wine can be bought in every supermarket chain in the country. It’s produced on the same geology as Champagne and by the same method (which was originated in England not France) and to the great chagrin of the French beaten Champagne in blind tastings.

British beef and British farming generally has some of the highest animal welfare standards in the world, and regulations are not only rigorous but enforced. Mad cow disease is long gone or Japan wouldn’t allow it in.

Stilton may not be to the average Japanese’s taste, it is a bit of an acquired taste, but there is a huge range of superb local and artisan cheeses produced in the UK from the very mild to the very strong. Little known fact, but Britain produces more varieties and more varied cheeses than even France.

This agreement should be a huge opportunity for both country’s.

7 ( +12 / -5 )

But this free-trade pact just signed will mean cheaper Japanese cars, machines tech and robots for UK, and much cheaper British drugs, meat, cheese, beer and Scotch for Japanese. Win-win!

Win-win, how are prices of EU goods here after the trade deal with EU ?, if anyone has seen a noticeable reduction in prices and wide availability of goods let me know.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

reducing tariffs on Yorkshire lamb

I'm not sure if that's correct. The UK government site mentions specifically "English sparkling wine, Yorkshire Wensleydale and Welsh lamb".

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/uk-and-japan-agree-historic-free-trade-agreement

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Laughable and windowdressing for useless politicians only. It won't change anything as business is done between companies and depends on offer and demand from the consumer. Except for one month of “ british weeks” and sales we will quickly see prices tick up again. Never seen any price decreases after the signing of the EU- Japan deal. And no one can be serious thinking Burberry and others will lower their prices.

Any advantages will be happily swallowed up by the importer/distributor/retailers and us consumers will need to be content with a “ free tasting” of a nearly invisible bit of stilton and a drop and i mean 1 drop of sparkling wine in a plastic fingerhood instead of a glass, just enough to wet only your underlip but not for a taste of anything.

2 ( +6 / -4 )

@englishaspyrgend

Being half French and half English and having been very often to England to see my family in England, never seen anywhere someone offering me a glass of good English sparkling wine (and no, there isn't euivalent to Champaign, requiring 60 different local processes to be made).

And we all know that cheese is hardly ever proposed at English restaurants, except if it is French...

For the rest, I leave to your imagination where to find good food (gastronomy) outside chocolate bars or fish and chips

-6 ( +2 / -8 )

English sparkling wine, made-in-Britain coats and shoes, Stilton cheese, pork, lamb and biscuits will become cheaper in Japan.

Knowing the speed of the tariff reductions in Japanese trade deals, we can expect the products to become cheaper in about 15 years or so. How great.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Fantastic news. Brexit Britain will make great trade deals without the EU interfering and increase our economy and interdependence with the rest of the world. The EU only makes up 25% of World trade whilst Japan is part of the other 75%. May the trade of goods, services and culture flow freely to improve both our countries.

-5 ( +3 / -8 )

The Germans must be madly fidgeting to make trade deals for their cars in the UK too...

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

How fitting it is to be in the Land of the Rising Sun to welcome in the dawn of a new era of free trade

That's the only cheap cheese we'll be getting.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

@ Ampas and Kniknaknokkaer

branston pickle - original and small chunk from amazon japan!

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Well done. More to come. Contrary to the media mantra, there is life outside the EU empire.

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

White Lightning

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Beef from Britain doesn’t sound very appetizing. Have they successfully eradicated the mad cow disease?

Judging by Bojo's behavior apparently not.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

All is fine until the Brits find a reason to violate the agreement.

-1 ( +5 / -6 )

Terrific. Bring on the lamb, the Marmite, and the crisps that taste of something.

Digestive biscuits and chocolate hobnobs.

Let's be having it!

3 ( +5 / -2 )

British Angus beef from Scotland. Also produced in America. Angus beef available in Japan, at times. Black beef. Scottish salmon. Welsh lamb. Bacon.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Jonathan Prin, I feel sorry for you if you think that. Chocolate hob nobs, dark chocolate digestives, Wensleydale with cranberries, Chesire cheese on toast, a sunday roast with yorkshire puddings and Welsh lamb joint with mint sauce.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Jonathan Prin "never seen anywhere someone offering me a glass of good English sparkling wine"

English courtesy, knowing how the French react! :)

no, there isn't euivalent to Champaign, requiring 60 different local processes to be made

The traditional method, used in making Champagne is precisely the method used in making English sparkling wine and invented in England!

And we all know that cheese is hardly ever proposed at English restaurants

Not such a core part of our dining tradition as in France, though you will find it at most restaurants these days, a pity it isn't more widely done as we have a huge range of amazing cheeses!

For the rest, I leave to your imagination where to find good food (gastronomy) outside chocolate bars or fish and chips

You will find a vastly more varied range of cuisines on offer in the UK than in stuffy old insular France ;) You will even find Japanese restaurants!

And anyway what's wrong with Fish & Chips!

2 ( +5 / -3 )

The Japanese must have been holding back their giggles. Yes, reduced car tariffs in exchange for cheaper lamb into Japan. Lamb that no one eats here. Lol

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

Some people have no idea about hundreds of years of British (England, Wales, Scotland and NI) cuisines. When I cook them here in Japan, my wife and friends love them. Healthy, tasty dishes.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Lamb slices and chops are available in our local stores.

Kohitsuji yaki – chargrilled teriyaki lamb chops

https://www.greatbritishchefs.com/recipes/chargrilled-lamb-teriyaki-recipe

2 ( +3 / -1 )

@Fighto!

Im not convinced the UK should be a part of the Trans PACIFIC partnership. Theyd be better off sticking to their region to forge deals, for many reasons. 

But this free-trade pact just signed will mean cheaper Japanese cars, machines tech and robots for UK, and much cheaper British drugs, meat, cheese, beer and Scotch for Japanese. Win-win!

Yes, I agree with you wholeheartedly Fighto! Since Britain is not Pacific nation, nation be too concerned about the trans PACIFIC partnership, as you said in your comment. I do support this free trade deal in general, but Britain literally needs to stay in its own sphere on things it’s not a part of.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Since Britain is not Pacific nation, nation be too concerned about the trans PACIFIC partnership, as you said in your comment. I do support this free trade deal in general, but Britain literally needs to stay in its own sphere on things it’s not a part of

Britain has sociocultural connections with the Commonwealth countries across Indo-Asia Pacific, several of whom are also TPP members (Canada, Australia, NZ, Singapore, Malaysia and Brunei). The share of its international trade with those countries have been increasing, not to mention the Pacific Asia is the fastest growing area in the world. With tech advancement, physical distances are getting obsolete.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

All is fine until the Brits find a reason to violate the agreement.

Don't worry, Japan has experience with South Korea in that matter ^^;

0 ( +2 / -2 )

mmm I love Lamb I would eat it every other day instead of once a month if it wasn't so darn expensive. Hopefully I will get to see a reduced price for it soon or more spread out to other supermarkets rather than just speciality shops.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

...there is life outside the EU empire.

LOL. There is something we just don't yet know if we can call it life.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Welcome, should have been bolder, more dynamic. Inclusive of loosing immigration/visa requirements.

Zeroed the vehicle tariffs. Opened up both markets.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Fantastic news. Brexit Britain will make great trade deals without the EU interfering and increase our economy and interdependence with the rest of the world. 

The EU has multiple trade agreements that contain a comprehensive most-favoured nation clause. That includes recent agreements with Canada, South Korea, Vietnam, and Japan. Under the clause, both parties agree not to give more favourable treatment in any future trade agreement they enter into with a third country, or if they do, to apply similar terms to the existing EU agreement.

What that means for Britain is that it cannot secure better treatment from Japan than the EU is getting. And that applies to the other agreements that the EU has been signing in recent years. It also cuts both ways - the EU cannot give Britain better terms than it is giving Japan, without offering Japan the same.

Additionally, the CPTPP has a most favoured nation clause, so add a few more countries to the list of places that Britain won't be outcompeting. All Britain can do is negotiate with such countries in the hope (but not certainty) of getting the same terms that are in the existing agreements.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

“How fitting it is to be in the Land of the Rising Sun to welcome in the dawn of a new era of free trade,”

I'm sure the sun rises earlier in New Zealand.

Time for Greggs to hit Japan!

Oh we can dream!

Knowing the speed of the tariff reductions in Japanese trade deals, we can expect the products to become cheaper in about 15 years or so. How great.

Yeah, too right. You always have to be careful when entering into trade deals with Japan. You always get the short end of the stick, in some way or another.

Sometimes I wish I could transport myself to a UK supermarket for 15 minutes everyday. The low prices, the variety, the vegan choices, the lack of loud music blaring out everywhere, no workers shouting into my ear hole. And Applewood vegan cheese is out of this world - to die for.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Sometimes I wish I could transport myself to a UK supermarket for 15 minutes everyday.

You could. By living in Britain.

There's something distinctly odd about choosing to settle in Japan, as many commenters on this site have done, and spending years complaining about prices or the range of food available. If Japan is especially expensive, if follows that many other countries must be a lot cheaper. And as there are so many cheaper countries, then choices abound for people who don't want to pay Japan prices for their food. You only get one life.

The same applies to veganism. There are some vegan-friendly countries, but Japan, China, and Korea most certainly are not. And they're not ever going to be, either, so why bother. India is far better, but vegetarianism/veganism is based in religion and strongly associated with caste issues. It's now tied up with politics, religious enmity, and nationalism as well.

Personally, if I was vegan I doubt that I'd want to live in Japan much more than a year, because it's a highly restrictive diet that isn't understood at all, and isn't well accommodated in this country. There are too many compromises to make, so living here, as with many other Asian countries, would come with an early "best before" date.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Hands across the pond. Good to see that it's moving forward towards a new era of free trade...

2 ( +2 / -0 )

It's a long, long way from here to there. If only the UK had a huge potential market, right on its doorstep...

You don't even see English sparkling wine for sale in English supermarkets!

Really? Have they stopped selling it?

1 ( +3 / -2 )

All is fine until the Brits find a reason to violate the agreement.

Yep.

Long history of wanting it all their own way.

Just look at how they're trying to shaft Ireland.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

There's something distinctly odd about choosing to settle in Japan, as many commenters on this site have done, and spending years complaining about prices or the range of food available.

No there isn’t, really.

There are many, many factors that go into deciding where to live, and the price or variety of food is only one of those, and in the overall scheme of things, not necessarily a major item.

You may as well say it’s distinctly odd that complaining about the weather and/or the government is a British characteristic: why don’t they all go and live somewhere warmer/sunnier/drier, and with a perfect political system?

Coz nowhere is perfect, is why. Enjoy the good things in your environs and do without what you can’t get.

And rejoice at the prospect of mature Cheddar at reasonable prices in the local supermarket.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Coz nowhere is perfect, is why. Enjoy the good things in your environs and do without what you can’t get.

^ This. Totally.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

I'm English and there are lots of things that I miss from the UK but have learnt to live (happily) without them, but I very much doubt we will see anything extra in the shops from the UK, there isn't any demand in Japan in any kind of quantity for such things as 'Mature Cheddar' or Stilton to make importing such products economical. For those who were here in the 1990's when there were a LOT more expat Americans here with real money will remember the abundance of America food products available here..a lot more than now.

Since the EU trade deal, which initially began with cheaper food products came into being has anyone noticed a real difference in the price of French Cheese or Butter? I don't think so. Also , compared to Prosecco or Cava (let's take Champagne out the equation), decent English 'Sparkling Wine' certainly won't be available in any kind of quantity to make it worthwhile importing. Given the choice between a bottle of Veuve at 4500 Yen on Rakuten, I know what I'd choose.

Doesn't mean I won't be happy if I see some products here - but I far that the cost of transportation in such limited quantities to Japan will make little sense.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Time for Greggs to hit Japan!

Why not? They'd need a joint venture to make it work.

Perhaps something like Yamazaki's Vie de France?

Ohhhh, sausage rolls and HP!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

"All is fine until the Brits find a reason to violate the agreement."

Ha Ha, very funny (And probably likely to happen also).

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

zichiOct. 24 wrote:

"Some people have no idea about hundreds of years of British (England, Wales, Scotland and NI) cuisines."

Zichi, NI is not "british". It is occupied by Britain and they name it as part of the "UnitedKingdom" not Britain Thats GB. Britain is Eng, Scot & Wales. Northern Ireland is in...Ireland. Look at the map. There is one island called "Britain and then another called "Ireland". Northern Ireland is six occupied "Irish" counties in the norh of "Ireland". These things ARE important. Best of luck to yol with your yorkshire puddings, I'l be having organic Irish beef and Cork's finish cheese, oh and an Irish whiskey to wash it down.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

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