The first protocol to amend the ASEAN-Japan Agreement on Comprehensive Economic Partnership (AJCEP) officially took into effect in Japan and the five ASEAN member states of Laos, Myanmar, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam on August 1.
Those countries had completed all necessary legal procedures for the entry into force of the document.
Vietnam ratified the first protocol on June 26, while Japan completed its legal procedures on June 16.
The protocol is expected to become effective in the five remaining ASEAN countries, namely Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines, once they complete their legal procedures.
ASEAN members and Japan began talks on the AJCEP in 2005. The agreement took effect three years later, focusing on trade, while talks regarding investment and services were underway.
It was the first multilateral free trade agreement of Japan.
The First Protocol to Amend the Agreement on Comprehensive Economic Partnership was signed by Japan on February 27, 2019, and by ASEAN members in March and April, 2019.
Article 8 of the Protocol stipulates that it shall enter into force on the first day of the second month following the date by which the notifications in writing that legal procedures necessary for entry into force of the Protocol have been completed have been made by Japan and at least one ASEAN nation.
In relation to an ASEAN member who will make such notification in the coming time, including Vietnam, the Protocol shall enter into force on the first day of the second month following the date on which the notification is made.
According to Japan’s Ministry of Finance, ASEAN is currently Japan’s third largest trade partner, following China and the US. In 2019, the country earned 11.58 trillion JPY (110 billion USD) from exports to ASEAN, while purchased goods worth 11.76 trillion JPY./.VNA