November 15, 2020
On November 15, 2020, Mr. Kajiyama Hiroshi, Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry, attended the Fourth Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) Summit Meeting held via video conference. He also attended a signing ceremony of the RCEP Agreement where he signed the Agreement.
On November 15, 2020, an RCEP Summit Meeting and a signing ceremony of the RCEP Agreement were held bringing together 15 countries in total: ten ASEAN member states (Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam), Japan, China, the ROK, Australia and New Zealand. As representatives of Japan, Minister Kajiyama attended these occasions together with Prime Minister Suga.
At the Summit Meeting, participants confirmed and welcomed the completion of the eight-year-long negotiations from the inauguration thereof in November 2012, and Minister Kajiyama signed the RCEP Agreement.*
At the meeting, participants issued a Joint Leaders’ Statement on the RCEP and a Ministers’ Declaration on India’s Participation in the RCEP. In the Minister’s Declaration, the ministers specifically and clearly stated that the RCEP remains open to India, a country playing a significant role in the region.
The RCEP Agreement is a broad economic partnership agreement of 15 member countries which not only account for approximately 30% of the world’s GDP value, trade value and population, but also account for approximately 50% of Japan’s total trade value. The Agreement is expected to improve market access and establish rules between a variety of countries with different stages of development and different systems in a wide variety of fields, such as intellectual property and e-commerce, aiming to promote regional trade and investment and enhance the efficiency of regional supply chains.
*Note: This is the co-signing with Mr. Motegi Toshimitsu, Minister for Foreign Affairs.