OpenMedia

Stop the Secrecy

EFF: Will Japan be next to join the TPP?

Tue, 10/30/2012 - 17:49 -- OpenMedia

Japan has yet to formally join the Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiations, but that isn't stopping its citizens from speaking out against restrictive copyright measures found within the TPP text. Now, as both Canada and Mexico have been formally admitted into TPP trade talks (albeit at lower-tiered statuses), the spotlight is on Japan in possibly joining next. 

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Article by Maira Sutton for EFF.org
 
Two of the biggest threats to the Internet are two international agreements: the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement (TPP) and the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA). TPP continues to expand across the Pacific, with Mexico and Canada joining in the next round in New Zealand. With ACTA, it is increasingly doubtful that it was successfully defeated this summer. With these two agreements, both of which contain intellectual property (IP) provisions that would negatively impact digital rights and innovation, the country that sits at the center of play is Japan.
 
Over a month ago, the Japanese House of Representatives quickly and quietly passed ACTA, confirming suspicions that ACTA did not die with its defeat in Europe. In a period of just one month, both Japanese legislative branches ratified the agreement with effectively no real debate. While surprising for some, it was expected that the first nation to approve the agreement would be Japan, given the leading role it had played throughout the ACTA negotiations, including being the host for the ACTA signature ceremony. While they are the only country to ratify it since ACTA was signed by eight countries last December, the move does demonstrate that signatory nations have not deserted their efforts to follow through with this sweeping IP enforcement agreement.
 
Japan’s participation with TPP has been much more complicated. Although ACTA has gained more attention in Japan since its ratification, opposition to that agreement is dwarfed by the public outcry against the TPP. Demonstrations are continuing against ACTA and TPP, mainly fueled by the agricultural business sector, but more Japanese resources continue to emerge about the risks these agreements pose to digital rights. As it grows ever more politically unpopular with the public, it has become too risky of an initiative for the current administration to move forward. Despite this, Japanese business leaders have a strong interest in moving Japan towards joining the TPP. Read more»

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