According to the press release from Ministry of Finance ("MOF") in Japan, U.S. Customs and Border Protection ("CBP") and Japan Customs and Tariff Bureau in MOF signed the mutual recognition agreement in AEO (Authorized Economic Operator) program.
The trade operators who have solid security and compliance program are approved as AEO operator. With the mutual recognition agreement in US and Japan, such AEO operators will be treated well as superior trader, will have certain benefit in customs clearance, thus contribute to the smooth and safety trade between US and Japan.
For Japan, this AEO mutual recognition is second agreement next to New Zealand.
For U.S., this is 4th agreement, next to New Zealand, Canada, and Jordan.
From Japanese trade operator point of view, their goods import into U.S. will be favorably treated in customs declaration and inspection. However, it is important to note, as U.S. AEO program is solely for import into U.S. (No AEO program for export from U.S.), the import into Japan is NOT in scope of this AEO mutual recognition.
In addition, although the AEO status is respected in both countries in customs clearance and other security related measure, what specifically is the beneficial point in actual implementation?
It is still uncertain.
Nevertheless, it is good direction to move forward. Japan is considering to have AEO mutual recognition with EU and Canada.
(Source: http://www.mof.go.jp/jouhou/kanzei/ka210626.htm - Japanese only)