Regional Integration in Asia-Pacific

  • Shinichi Ichimura


After the formation of EC and NAFTA came clearly into the perspectives of regionalism in the world, how Asia should respond to the issues of regionalism became an important issue in academic and journalistic debates in Asia as well as in the US and Europe. It must be pointed out, however, that regionalism in Asia is nothing new even in a recent few decades. The recent progress of discussions at the forum like APEC seems to be too politicized from the view-point of long-term development of East Asian economies.1


Foreign Direct Invest Free Trade East Asian Country Free Trade Agreement Tariff Rate 
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  1. 1.
    This chapter is based on S. Icliimura, “AFTA after NAFTA,” in Academic Studies Series, Joint Korea-US Academic Symposium, Vol. IV, 1994. Tlie same paper with some modifications was presented at tlie Kuala Lumpur meeting sponsored by The Malaysian Institute of Strategic and International Studies, in 1995.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    See Kiyoshi Kojima, Taiheiyo Kcizai Ken no Sciritsu (Birth of the Pacific Economic Area),Tokyo, 1967; Shinichi Icliimura, “On Basic National Policies of Japan,”(Nihon-no Kokusaku ni tsuite, written in 1966) quoted in Nihon Keizai no Shinro-o Motomcte (Steering the Japanese Economy), Sobunsha, Tokyo, 1985.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    There is a special political importance to be attached to PEEC and PBEC in comparison with APEC, particularly from the view-point of East Asian countries. That is the problems of three China’s, the unresolved territorial issue between Japan and Russia, political confusions in Indochina three countries, and the existence of North Korea. Since PEEC and PBEC are only semi-governmental organizations, the members from all the countries can sit together and concentrate on the economic discussions, but in APEC meetings they cannot do so. For the same reason to call a summit meeting in Seattle was premature, because it put Taiwan in an awkward position even for the economic discussions. How to form the Pacific Community requires a considerate process of building up confidence and friendship rather than a quick fix. In this sense process is just as important as the final conclusions. Too many initiatives on the part of developed countries sometimes can jeopardize equal partnerships on the part of developing and less stable countries in Asia.Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    M. Noland, “Asia and the NAFTA,” Institute of International Economics, 1993. Paper presented at the Hong Kong Meeting of the Asia Society, February, 1993Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    As for AFTA, see the following documents: Pearl Imada, Manuel Montes and Seiji Naya, A Free Trade Area, Institute of Southeast Asian Studies, Singapore, 1991; Seiji Naya (coordinator), ASEAN Economic Cooperation for the 1990’s: a report prepared for the ASEAN Standing Committee, The Philippine Institute Development Studies, Manila, 1992; Pearl Imada and Seiji Naya (ed.), AFTA: The Way Ahead, Institute of Southeast Asian Studies, Singapore, 1992Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    A study by a National University of Singapore group finds that even if ail the custom duties are eliminated, intra-rcgional trade increases by 3.1% only.Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    See P. Imada et al., op. cit. pp.4–8.Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    The most interesting study published recently is: Yukiko Ishizaki, “Recent Expansion of Asia-Pacific Trade: Trends and Structural Changes,” RIM, Vol. 2, No. 21, Center for Pacific Business Studies, Sakura Institute of Research, 1993. It traces and quantitatively analyzes the changes of commodity components in relations to the preceding direct investment which caused the revealed comparative advantages among East Asian countriesGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    See “Declaration of TPF-VII,” and “A Proposal for Asia-Pacific Investment Codes”. A summary is available in Pacific Report JANCPEC Secretariat, Tokyo, August, 1993.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Japan 1998

Authors and Affiliations

  • Shinichi Ichimura
    • 1
  1. 1.International Center for the Study of East Asian DevelopmentKokurakita, Kitakyushu, FukuokaJapan

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