Regional economic integration of Japan and Asia

Dec 27, 2016


The Japanese Cultural Institute Cologne (The Japan Foundation) cordially invites you to the symposium organized in cooperation with the Institute of East Asian Studies of the University of Duisburg-Essen


Regional economic integration of Japan and Asia


at the Japanese Cultural Institute, Universitätsstr. 98, 50674 Köln (phone +49-221-9 40 55 80 /


on Thursday, 9th February 2017, 2:00 – 5:30 p.m.


The economic role of Japan in the Asia-Pacific region is of particular interest and relevance, but rather little known in the West, particularly when the implications for European or German business are considered. Japan has fostered economic integration within East as well as with Southeast Asia, and beyond in the wider Asia-Pacific region. This has led to dense economic and business linkages in the area, also involving deep production networks along the value chain. 


Japan has concluded several bilateral partnerships such as Free Trade Agreements (FTA) or Economic Partnership Agreements (EPA), particularly with countries in Southeast Asia and in the Pan-Pacific region.  There are FTAs/EPAs with 15 countries and regions, mainly in Asia. FTAs/EPAs now cover 22.3% of the total value of Japan´s trade. Japanese enterprises actively proceed to develop further trade linkages and investment projects. It can be said that Japan contributes quite significantly to the economic development of the Asia-Pacific area through fostering economic integration.



The Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP), of which Japan is a founding member, could bring the share of FTA/EPA-covered trade of Japan to about 40%, which would deepen Japan’s integration within the Asia-Pacific region even further. While TPP negotiations were successfully concluded in early 2016, the recent US presidential elections have led to doubts about its ratification. Still, other mechanisms to foster free trade in the Asia-Pacific area might fill such a void.


It seems clear but deserves much more attention that such developments can have substantial implications for Europe´s trade and business in the Asia-Pacific area. The expected conclusion of a EU-Japan EPA in the near future and further arrangements with other countries in Asia-Pacific will bring a new dynamism to Europe-Japan and Europe-Asia-Pacific trade and investment relations.


Which developments are already visible and what can be expected?

How can enterprises react to the changing circumstances, make use of the new options and plan for the future?

In the symposium, four experts from economics and business will share their insights on these questions through their lectures, followed by a panel discussion, in which selected issues will be explored further.   





Themes and Speakers


1400 Opening Remarks 


1410  Recent development of economic integration between Japan

and countries in the Asia-Pacific region (Conclusion of FTA / EPA and its impact on macro economy)

              Prof. Shujiro Urata, Waseda University


1455  Impact and implications of economic integration between

Japan and countries in the Asia-Pacific area on German and European economies

Prof. Dr. Rolf Langhammer, former Vice-President of the      

Kiel Institute for the World Economy


1530 Coffee Break


1550  Activities of Japanese enterprises in the integrated

             Asian market

 Mr. Akira Yasuda, Assistant Director, International

 Economic Division, Overseas Research Department, Japan

 External Trade Organization (JETRO)


1625  How should German enterprises act in an integrated Asian    market?

             Mr. Gerhard Wiesheu, Chairman, Japanese-German Business

 Association DJW Partner, B. Metzler seel. Sohn &Co.

 Holding AG


1650 Panel Discussion

Moderator: Prof. Dr. Werner Pascha, Director, Institute of East Asian Studies, University of Duisburg-Essen


1730 End