The Diet approved an economic partnership agreement with Mongolia on Friday.
The Upper House passed the bilateral free trade pact by a majority vote at a plenary session. The Lower House has already approved the pact.
The government will draw up relevant ordinances needed to implement the treaty, while Mongolia will work to complete parliamentary approval procedures. With these steps taken, the trade agreement is expected to take effect before the end of the year after the two countries have exchanged diplomatic notes.
Mongolia is the 15th economy to have concluded an EPA with Japan. For Mongolia, this is its first EPA.
Under the pact, the proportion of tariff-free goods from Japan to Mongolia will be increased to about 96 percent of the total Mongolia-bound export value within 10 years, while Japan will abolish tariffs on all goods imported from Mongolia over the same period.
Japan hopes the EPA with Mongolia will help secure stable supplies of mineral resources such as coal and rare earths.
The Upper House’s plenary session also approved a World Trade Organization trade facilitation pact Friday. The pact, the first major progress since the 2001 launch of the Doha Round of global trade liberalization negotiations, will come into force if it is endorsed by two-thirds of WTO members.