Japan to open up economy, with more Free Trade

Acknowledging that its global economic status is declining, Japan’s government is declaring it will work to "open up the country" and redouble efforts to forge free trade agreements to boost its economic prospects.

A policy paper released Saturday reflects Japan’s concerns that it is falling behind in forging free trade deals. It says Tokyo will work to wrap up pending negotiations with Australia and Peru, resume suspended trade talks with South Korea, and seek new talks with other countries or regions.

"If Japan’s trade and investment environment becomes less attractive than the environment in other countries, there is a possibility that future employment opportunities will be lost," the paper on comprehensive economic partnerships says.

The document, produced by a wide range of ministries, represents new government policy and will be formally adopted by the Cabinet this week, Noriyuki Shikata, a spokesman for Prime Minister Naoto Kan’s office, said Sunday.

The document was released ahead of an Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit that Japan is hosting in Yokohama next weekend

Read the rest of the story: Japan says it will open up economy, seek more FTAs.