Negotiations on the Japan-Australia Economic Partnership Agreement (JAEPA) concluded in April 2014. Then Prime Minister Abbott and Japanese Prime Minister Abe signed JAEPA and its Implementing Agreement on 8 July 2014 in Canberra.
Then Minister Robb tabled the text of the Agreement along with a National Interest Analysis in the Australian Parliament on 14 July 2014.
JAEPA was considered by the Joint Standing Committee on Treaties (JSCOT). On 28 October 2014, the Chair of JSCOT tabled Report 144 of its inquiry into JAEPA in Parliament. The report supported JAEPA and recommended the Government take binding treaty action.
Following tabling of the report, then Minister Robb introduced customs implementing legislation into Parliament on 29 October 2014. The Senate Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Legislation Committee reviewed the legislation and recommended the Senate pass the bills. The legislation was passed by Parliament on 27 November 2014. Related Regulations were also amended.
JAEPA was passed by the Japanese Diet on 7 November 2014, and a final Cabinet decision was taken on 16 December.
On the same day, Australia and Japan exchanged diplomatic notes, confirming the completion of domestic processes in both countries.
JAEPA entered into force on 15 January 2015, making 2015 the first year of the Agreement. JAEPA then measures each year of operation from 1 April (coinciding with the start of the Japanese fiscal year). JAEPA’s second year — and second set of scheduled tariff cuts — commenced on 1 April 2015, its third year and third set of scheduled tariff cuts on 1 April 2016 and so on.
The first JAEPA Joint Committee meeting was held on 15 January 2015. The second was held in Tokyo on 19 April 2017.