TOKYO: The Japanese government is making final arrangements to sign a bilateral trade pact with Britain as early as Oct. 23, it was learned Monday.
British International Trade Secretary Liz Truss may visit Japan for the signing, according to informed sources.
If approved at an extraordinary session of the Diet, Japan’s parliament, to be convened Oct. 26, the new trade deal is expected to go into force Jan. 1 next year.
Last month, the two countries reached a broad agreement on the pact.
Under their deal, Britain will remove its tariffs on Japanese automobiles in February 2026 in line with the abolition of such tariffs under the economic partnership agreement between Japan and the European Union.
Japan will give British blue cheese products the same preferential treatment as given to their EU counterparts, applying the same lower tariff rate as long as Japan’s blue cheese imports from both stay within its low-tariff import quota set under its EPA with the EU.
Following Britain’s exit from the EU at the end of this year, preferential tariff measures between Japan and Britain under the Japan-EU EPA are set to expire at the end of this year.
Japan and Britain are expected to avoid major disruption in business if they put their pact into effect at the beginning of next year.