On October 30, 2012, Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry ("METI") and Ministry of Foreign Affairs ("MOFA") of Japan jointly announced that Japan and Canada start 1st round of negotiation for the Japan-Canada bilateral EPA. This 1st round of negotiation meeting will be held in Tokyo from November 26 to 30, 2012, and the topics will be how the negotiation will be proceeded from now on and exchange of opinions in area of trade in goods, service, investment, and intellectual property etc.
On March 2012, Japan and Canada completed the joint study of possible effect of bilateral EPA and expressed in the summit meeting that both countries agreed to start EPA negotiation. Japan aim to secure natural resource produced in Canada such as natural gas or shale gas. Also, Japan’s main export item to Canada is automobile, its MFN tariff rate into Canada is currently 6.1%, it is higher than 2.5% of United States. EPA may help to increase automobile export to Canada. On the other hand, Canada expect more export of agricultural products to Japanese market, such as soybean or pork. As Japan treat farm products as sensitive items, the focus in EPA negotiation would be how Japan open agricultural market to Canada.