Canada - Japan Forum Report 2006

The Canada-Japan Forum recently released its report on the state of the Canada-Japan relationship with recommendations toward a renewed Canada-Japan partnership while addressing challenges and opportunities of a changing world. The report is intended to serve as a catalyst toward a renewed Canada-Japan partnership relationship that has not been living up to its full potential.

Noting the consultative schemes and organizational links in place, and the many recommendations and ideas regarding Japan-Canada cooperation that have been identified as ways to strengthen the relationship, the group states that acting on the recommendations is an important step towards achieving the target of realizing the potential. Emphasis should be placed on promoting trade, investment, tourism, cultural and academic relations, joint research on environment and energy issues, expansion of the Japan Exchange and Teaching (JET) Programme, Working Holiday Program and sister-city agreements, and strengthening media co-operation that would lead to a deeper bilateral relationship.
In the Forum’s specific recommendations on the economy, it mentions that a comprehensive Free Trade Agreement with Japan should be the ultimate objective of the Joint Study that is expected to be completed at the end of this year. In a meeting with Japanese government officials earlier this year, the CCCJ presented its stance that calls for a FTA with Japan and will cooperate with the various organizations empowered to help this initiative succeed, notwithstanding the impediments.

The Canada-Japan Forum is a standing, non-governmental consultative body that was first established in 1991. The governments of Canada and Japan have reconstituted the Forum since its inception with new members who brought fresh insights and expertise that reflect topics of current bilateral interest. Don Campbell, group president, CAE and former Canadian Ambassador to Japan, and Peter Yoshiyasu Sato, Adviser, Tokyo Electric Power Company, co-chaired the Forum who recommended that this mechanism should be maintained to provide a stimulus to the Canada-Japan relationship.

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