Yomiuri reported that the Lower House Foreign Affairs Committee started deliberations on a bill to effectuate the U.S.-Japan agreement on digital trade, with Foreign Minister Motegi explaining that the legislation is aimed at creating a free and open international economy through enhancing digital connections between the two economies. The daily said the accord is also intended to rein in China’s growing presence in the digital economy.
Sankei wrote that the committee also examined separate legislation on the U.S.-Japan trade agreement on goods on the same day, quoting FM Motegi as saying that the accord is based on the assumption that U.S. tariffs on Japanese auto imports will be eliminated and that the two sides will negotiate on when the tariffs will be removed. The minister dismissed criticism from the opposition that the GOJ failed to obtain a U.S. commitment to eliminate the auto tariffs, stressing that Tokyo will hold “negotiations on tariff elimination.” He also stated that the trade agreement is compatible with WTO rules. The daily added that senior ruling coalition officials confirmed yesterday that the two trade bills will be enacted during the current Diet session, which will end on Dec. 9.