The Impact of the Trans-Pacific Partnership: The Asian Studies Lecture Series


KENNESAW, Ga. (Feb 18, 2016) — The new Consul-General of Japan, Mr. Takashi Shinozuka, came to Kennesaw State’s campus to open the Asian Studies Lecture Series. He began by discussing the role the Consulate General of Japan in Atlanta plays in bringing awareness to the government and citizens of Georgia, Alabama, North Carolina, and South Carolina about issues that are important to the Japanese community. Mr. Shinozuka then introduced Dr. Fukunari Kimura, professor at Keio University in Japan and Chief Economist with the Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia, to speak about the impacts of the trans-pacific partnership (TPP) on Japan.

The TPP agreement is an agreement between 12 countries aimed at increasing trade. In February 2016, the agreement was signed in New Zealand. The signing of this agreement is the result of 5 years of negotiations. Japan joined the negotiation process in July of 2007. According to Dr. Kimura, without the involvement of the United States and Japan, the proposed TPP agreements will not work, so it is crucial for the United States to ratify the agreement.

TPP will not have a large overall impact on the Japanese economy because Japan added economic protection measures to ensure their own economic stability. However, the TPP will spark domestic reform in Japan, which is needed to continue economic growth and prosperity. The larger impacts of the TPP will happen in the smaller nations who are part of the agreement such as Malaysia, Chile and Brunei. While Japan’s agricultural sector might be weakened at the onset of the agreement, Japanese economists expect that the agricultural sector will rebound.

As the negotiations about TPP have come to an end, Dr. Kimura said that the Japanese have come to appreciate the strategic significance of the negotiations because the process has been long and at times arduous. However, the impact of this agreement will strengthen the relationship between the United States and Japan, which will trickle down into other partnerships such as the partnership between the Consulate-General of Japan in Atlanta and Kennesaw State University.

Kennesaw State has been seeking strategic partnerships with Japanese universities and corporations for the past five years. This year Dr. Ed Chan will be bringing 11 students from Aichi University in Japan to spend 2 weeks at Kennesaw State. Kennesaw State also has 2 Hiroshima survival trees planted on campus that were brought over in to strengthen the partnership with Japan. Through measure like these and with the potential ratification of the TPP, the United States, Atlanta and specifically Kennesaw State University can expect to develop long lasting relationships in Japan.