Abe’s Successor to Face Challenge to Expand Free Trade

Politics

Tokyo, Aug. 30 (Jiji Press)--A priority for a successor to outgoing Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will be to expand free trade as an engine of sustainable economic growth as protectionism is spreading globally, economists said.

Japan may face pressure from the United States to give it greater access to the country’s agricultural market after November’s presidential election.

In October last year, Japan and the United States concluded a trade agreement after only about a year of talks. The speedy conclusion was “greatly attributable to friendly relations” between Abe and U.S. President Donald Trump, a source familiar with the negotiations said.

After the presidential election, the United States may demand Japan open its market for agricultural products such as rice and dairy goods further to increase exports as it is struggling with the economic fallout from the coronavirus pandemic.

Abe’s successor will face the challenge of warding off the potential U.S. pressure while maintaining friendly bilateral relations, economists said.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press