Japan Was The First To Ratify ACTA. Will They Join TPP Next?

Maira Sutton | Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) | October 26, 2012

Two of the biggest threats to the Internet are two international agreements: the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement (TPP) and the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA). TPP continues to expand across the Pacific, with Mexico and Canada joining in the next round in New Zealand. With ACTA, it is increasingly doubtful that it was successfully defeated this summer. With these two agreements, both of which contain intellectual property (IP) provisions that would negatively impact digital rights and innovation, the country that sits at the center of play is Japan.

Over a month ago, the Japanese House of Representatives quickly and quietly passed ACTA, confirming suspicions that ACTA did not die with its defeat in Europe. In a period of just one month, both Japanese legislative branches ratified the agreement with effectively no real debate. While surprising for some, it was expected that the first nation to approve the agreement would be Japan, given the leading role it had played throughout the ACTA negotiations, including being the host for the ACTA signature ceremony. While they are the only country to ratify it since ACTA was signed by eight countries last December, the move does demonstrate that signatory nations have not deserted their efforts to follow through with this sweeping IP enforcement agreement...