The Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement with Japan is the first major trade pact signed by the UK after its withdrawal from the EU. It will enter into force at the end of the transitional period at the end of 2020. This agreement will make it easier for British companies to operate in Japan. Producers, food and beverage producers and technology companies could benefit. Tariffs on Japanese cars will be phased out to zero by 2026. Tariffs on railway cars and auto parts will also be removed by Britain. In the field of e-commerce and financial services, governments are prohibited from requiring companies to disclose algorithms used in artificial intelligence technology and encryption data. M. Kotsonis said the deal is important not only because of the trade it will allow directly, but also because it will act as a « stepping stone » to the CPTPP. He said Japan had said it was ready to support the UK`s efforts to join the bloc. As noted in Morita-Jaeger (2020), the UK government could have demonstrated a strong commitment to Japanese investment by including an overall investment chapter covering investment protection and dispute settlement. Further investment liberalisation is no longer a controversial issue for the investment relationship between Japan and the UK, given that the investment policy framework in both Japan and the UK is already quite liberal and Japan and the EU have agreed to negotiate a bilateral investment agreement but have not yet reached an agreement. The United Kingdom could have played a pioneering role in this regard.
New protection for the UK`s most iconic products – Increasing geographical indications (GIs) from just seven under the terms of the EU-Japan agreement to more than 70 possible under our new agreement, which covers products such as English sparkling wine, Yorkshire Wensleydale and Welsh lamb. This would result in better recognition of the main British brands in the Japanese market. The new agreement phases out tariffs on Japanese cars from zero in 2026, which is in line with the existing agreement between Japan and the EU, while the UK will immediately remove tariffs on railway wagons and auto parts. Japanese tariffs on British agricultural products are maintained at the same level as in the agreement with the EU. Interestingly, the rules on e-commerce and financial services are more ambitious than the agreement between Japan and the EU, including a ban on governments inviting companies to disclose algorithms used in artificial intelligence and encryption technologies.  ONS (2020). Trade of the United Kingdom as a whole: all countries, not seasonally adjusted. Uk goods exports to Japan account for 1.9% (£7,262 million in 2019) of its total exports of goods and services and account for 1.6% (£7,987 million in 2019) of its total services exports. The most modern digital and data rules go far beyond the EU-Japan agreement.
These allow the free flow of this data while maintaining high standards of protection of personal data. We have also committed to net neutrality principles and introduce a ban on data localization that will prevent UK companies from having the additional costs of setting up servers in Japan. This will help UK fintech companies operating in Japan – like Revolut and Transferwise – to innovate and grow. « There are some differences, though. For example, as regards e-commerce and financial services, the agreement goes beyond the EPA BETWEEN the EU and Japan. On the other hand, the situation in merchandise trade is a little more mixed, so UK suppliers can only benefit from lower tariffs on the export of certain products if EU producers have not omitted the corresponding quotas. » The UK today concluded a free trade agreement with Japan, which is the UK`s first major trade deal as an independent trading nation. The economy will help support the government in its efforts to conclude more trade agreements around the world and promote its benefits to communities.