October 29, 2018
Mr. Yoshihiro Seki, State Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry, attended a meeting titled “Ottawa Ministerial on WTO Reform” organized by the Government of Canada. Taking this opportunity, he held bilateral meetings with H.E. Mr. James Gordon Carr, Minister of International Trade Diversification, Canada, and H.E. Mr. Rodrigo Yáñez, Director General of International Economic Affairs and Vice Minister of Trade, Chile.
1. Meeting of Ottawa Ministerial on WTO Reform (in Ottawa on October 25)
As representatives of Japan, State Minister Seki and Mr. Kiyoto Tsuji, Parliamentary Vice Minister for Foreign Affairs, attended the meeting. Participating ministers exchanged views on three issues concerning the World Trade Organization (WTO): [i] Improving efficiency and effectiveness of WTO monitoring and transparency functions, [ii] Safeguarding dispute settlement and [iii] Creating 21st century trade rules. This meeting brought together representatives from 13 WTO Members, including EU member countries, and Mr. Roberto Azevêdo, WTO Director-General.
State Minister Seki stated that the like-minded members should initiate discussions on an issue-by-issue basis in order to enhance the WTO’s monitoring and rule-making functions, stressing the need for fortifying notification obligations and transparency and enhancing the functions of regular committees as well as the necessity of making rules against market-distorting subsidies and those for digital trade.
As an outcome of the discussions, participating ministers compiled a Joint Communique of the Ottawa Ministerial on WTO Reform with a variety of efforts and future directions to achieve WTO reform and modernization.
2. Meeting with Minister Carr, Canada
State Minister Seki and Parliamentary Vice Minister Tsuji jointly held a bilateral meeting with Minister Carr. They discussed cooperation in WTO reform and G20 meetings, bilateral economic ties and other issues.
3. Meeting with Vice Minister Yáñez,, Chile
State Minister Seki and Parliamentary Vice Minister Tsuji jointly held a bilateral meeting with Vice Minister Yanez. They exchanged views concerning WTO reform and CPTPP, and on cooperation in APEC and G20 meetings in 2019, and other issues.
Division in Charge
Multilateral Trade System Department, Trade Policy Bureau