Japan is lagging behind in sealing investment agreements to help Japanese firms expand their business overseas. The government has set a target of inking such deals with 100 countries and regions by 2020, but has currently only signed such deals with less than 80 countries and regions. Japan has been particularly slow to seal deals with African nations, with which China is actively engaging. As investment treaties can help pave the way toward building strong ties with other countries, Japan needs to accelerate its efforts.
On Jan. 29 Japan signed an investment agreement with Georgia, which will be presented to the current Diet session for approval and early effectuation. This will bring the number of countries and regions that Japan has thus far signed investment deals and similar economic partnership agreements with to 79 if those that are not effectuated yet are included.
The signing of investment agreements with African nations in particular is not moving forward quickly. At present, Japan has signed investment deals with five nations on the continent, of which three have been effectuated. Meanwhile, China has signed deals with 34 countries, of which 19 have been effectuated. As for South Korea, it has signed investment treaties with 19 nations, of which 16 have been effectuated. (Abridged)