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An Insight into Asian Trade Regionalism : Japan's Double Membership in the Exclusive Games of TPP, and RCEP.

By Sebastian Bobowski


The paper is studying a phenomenon of trade regionalism in East Asia, basing on currently emerging mega-regional trade projects of TPP and RCEP. An author attempts to shed some light on Japan's approach towards membership in regional trade frameworks, pointing out the context of both intra- and extra-regional rivalry with China and the United States. The substance of the analysis has been drawn as an exclusive game, underlying evolution of Tokyo's trade diplomacy in recent years to challenge rapidly changing political and economic landscape of the Asia-Pacific region. An issue of membership is utilized to analyze the exclusive dimension of trade diplomacy. Author delivers an assumption of Japan's prioritization of dominating position within regional frameworks, therefore, tendency towards exclusion of the other influential states, perceived as potential rivals over leadership in a given framework. When studying TPP, author raise the question of China’s exclusion – emerging regional rival of both Japan and the United States, while, in the context of RCEP, backed by Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), however, intensively pushed by China – the question of exclusion of the United States. Therefore, author regards the way Japan is playing China card in TPP talks, so as the US card in RCEP talks to build its regional position

Topics: Free Trade Agreements (FTAs), Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), membership, exclusion JEL Classification: F13, F15, F53
Publisher: 成蹊大学アジア太平洋研究センター
Year: 2015
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