The trade agreement between the United Kingdom and Japan therefore marks an important moment. It provides access to an important global market for small business exporters in the UK, one in ten of whom see Japan as a crucial market to be exploited. With more than 130,000 small businesses already exporting to Japan, this should give small businesses that want to grow, stay or start exporting to Japan the security they need for the future. Japan`s initial refusal to „shake up“ the EU-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) was encouraged in part by Japan`s desire to further clarify the future trade relationship between the UK and the EU and, on the other hand, by the desire to negotiate something more ambitious by validating the UK`s market access commitments and re-examining certain regulatory issues, which were rejected by the EU during the EPA negotiations between the EU and Japan.  However, over time, Japan has repositioned itself to prioritize „continuity.“ The Japanese economy has come under strong pressure to ensure a smooth transition from the EU-Japan EPA framework to the EU-UK Free Trade Agreement from 1 January 2021. The duty-free for more British products – new, more liberal rules of origin will allow manufacturers of coats, knitwear and biscuits to buy inputs from around the world for their exports to Japan – making it easier and cheaper for them to sell in the Japanese market. Japan also signed on November 15 the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership`s (RECP) massive trade agreement with China and the 10-member ASEAN, which covers nearly a third of the global economy, closing eight years of tough negotiations. The UK is committed in trade negotiations to ensure that all future trade agreements protect our NHS and maintain all existing safeguards for our high standards of food safety and animal welfare. The most modern digital and data rules, which go far beyond the EU-Japan agreement, including the free flow of data, the obligation to respect the principles of net neutrality and the ban on unjustified data location that prevent UK companies from having the additional costs of setting up servers in Japan. Ultimately, trade is a powerful lever for economic growth. The IWC and its members will now work with the government to take full advantage of the opportunities and ensure that the benefits are felt in all regions of the UK.
The UK-Japan Free Trade Agreement is an asset to the UK government in domestic policy. The UK is still on the edge of the cliff when it comes to the future relationship between the EU and the UK and the possibility of a no-deal has increased in recent days. The free trade agreement with the United States, initially presented as a key part of the post-Brexit agenda, seems distant. This is partly due to the uncertainty of the US presidential election, but also to differences of opinion on key areas such as food safety standards for US agricultural products.  Under these conditions, the UK was subjected to political pressure to demonstrate its ability to conclude its first free trade agreement as an „independent“ nation. Therefore, the trade agreement with Japan, the world`s third largest economy and the UK`s 4th largest non-EU export market, as a „historic free trade agreement“ for the UK.   Department of International Trade (2020). United Kingdom-Japan Free Trade Agreement: The UK`s Strategic Approach, May 2020, pp. 28-29.
www.gov.uk/government/publications/uks-approach-to-negotiating-a-free-trade-agreement-with-japan/uk-japan-free-trade-agreement-the-uks-strategic-approach  Morita-Jaeger, M. . . .