The IBON Foundation, a convenor of the No Deal! Movement Against Unequal Economic Agreements, said in an article published in the Pinoy Press that Japan was using bilateral trade agreements to advance Japanese corporate concerns in South East Asia.
The group used the recently implemented Indonesia-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement (IJEPA) as an example, and said the agreement has shown no economic benefits for Indonesia despite going into effect in July.
Quality and quarantine issues are cited as non-tariff barriers keeping Indonesian, and potentially Philippine produce from the notoriously choosy Japanese market.
On the other side of the fence, IBON says the agreements have cut duties on high-tech Japanese imports into Indonesia.