The political economy of preferential trade arrangements: The case of Japan

Arata Kuno, Fukunari Kimura

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Support for open trade regimes varies. We analyze Japanese survey data on individuals' preferences for TPP, unilateral import liberalization, and East Asian economic integration, and compare factors influencing policy preferences. First, despite the massive negative campaigns against TPP, 42.8% of individuals support Japan’s participation in TPP, vs. 21.1% against. Second, economic factors do matter for an individual in determining his/her policy preference over TPP. Third, noneconomic factors such as gender, age, access to accurate information, and attachment to hometown also feature as determinants. Fourth, although preferences over TPP and other policy options are positively correlated, some factors decrease TPP support but do not undermine support for two other less-politicized policy options: lack of access to accurate information and some industry and regional TPP-specific factors. Criticism impacts negatively on FTA policy preferences. Finally, we discuss economic policy implications for relationships between China, Japan, and Korea. Abbreviations: FTA: Free trade agreement; JA: Japan agricultural cooperative; TPP: Trans-Pacific partnership agreement.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)128-146
Number of pages19
JournalChina Economic Journal
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2017 May 4


  • Public opinions
  • Trade policy preferences
  • Trans-Pacific partnership agreement

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cultural Studies
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Economics, Econometrics and Finance(all)


Dive into the research topics of 'The political economy of preferential trade arrangements: The case of Japan'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this