Given Korea`s political importance, in-depth contacts between citizens, deep economic interdependence and joint proposals by the two countries` business leaders for a Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement or Free Trade Agreement, negotiations should start as soon as possible after the new government of the Republic of Korea took office next February. Discussions should begin on a common vision of economic relations in East Asia, around Japan, China and the Republic of Korea. (1) Comprehensiveness, flexibility, selectivity Currently, one option would be to base future agreements on our Economic Partnership Agreement with Singapore, but we should maintain flexibility and consider the possibility of a “Singapore plus” or “Singapore minus” approach. It may be possible to agree in advance on certain areas (such as investment and services) or to conclude an Economic Partnership Agreement limited to such areas. (2) Japan`s FTA strategy – specific issues for the examination of Japan`s main trading partners are East Asia, North America and Europe, with three regions accounting for 80% of Japanese trade. Compared to free trade agreements with the countries of North America and Europe, all of which are industrialized countries, free trade agreements with East Asia will bring the greatest added value through further liberalization. As shown by the simple averages of tariffs (United States, 3.6%; European Union, 4.1%; China, 10%; Malaysia, 14.5%; Republic of Korea, 16.1 per cent; Philippines, 25.6%; and Indonesia (37.5%), East Asia, the region with the largest share of Japanese goods in trade, has the highest tariffs. Trade liberalization with East Asia will help facilitate the activities of Japanese companies that compete with ASEAN and China and that in many cases have relocated their production sites to sites in East Asia. . . .