TOKYO: The Japanese and British governments are expected to introduce a rule under the envisioned bilateral trade deal to protect famous products of the two countries, sources told Jiji Press on August 1.
Subject to the protection are mainstay agricultural and alcohol products such as Scotch whisky and Kobe beef, the sources said.
The two nations are in the final stages of talks to make the protection as strong as under the existing economic partnership agreement between Japan and the European Union.
To be introduced as part of the Japan-Britain deal is a geographical indication rule designed to protect products with specific geographical origin and prevent cheaper products with the same or similar names from being sold widely.
Under the Japan-EU EPA, the Satsuma shochu distilled spirits and Yubari melons are also protected, on top of the Scotch whisky and Kobe beef.
Japan and Britain aim to reach a broad agreement on the bilateral trade deal this summer and put it into effect in early 2021, given that Britain’s exit from the EU, or Brexit, will invalidate preferential trade treatment between Japan and Britain under the Japan-EU pact at the end of this year.
In early August, Japanese Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi will visit Britain to hold negotiations with British International Trade Secretary Elizabeth Truss so that they will be able to announce a political achievement over the deal.
The two countries are also discussing a protection rule on par with the one under the Japan-EU EPA for intellectual property rights such as for cutting-edge technologies, trademarks and new plant varieties.