Reports suggest Japan not considering RCEP without India

December 3, 2019: Japan’s Deputy Minister for Economy, Trade and Industry, Hideki Makihara, has stated that Japan is "not thinking at all" about a Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) deal without India, calling into question the future of the deal.

The comments came ahead of a series of talks between India and Japan this week, that will address India’s concerns with the RCEP agreement amongst other issues. Reports suggest that Japan is seeking to consolidate its relationship with India to mitigate China’s increasing regional dominance. 

Mr Makihara’s comments were reinforced by the Japanese Foreign Minister Motegi Toshimitsu. Speaking at the 1st Tokyo Global Dialogue, Mr Toshimitsu stated that "what is driving our efforts in Japan’s firm conviction that the framework of the RCEP can truly boost the region’s economic potential only with the participation of India."