The announcement of a basic free-trade agreement between Japan and the Philippines at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Forum in Santiago, Chile, was met with a positive response in the Japanese media. Japan, after all, clearly came out ahead: Tariffs on Japanese imported steel products will be substantially lowered in exchange for lower tariffs on Philippine pineapples and bananas.

Bananas aren’t produced in Japan and pineapples are only grown in a small area of Okinawa, so it’s hard to see just what Japan gave up in the negotiations, especially since Tokyo refuses to budge on opening its market to sugar. However, the FTA deal isn’t done just yet, and one of the items that remains high on the agenda is the acceptance of Philippine workers in Japan, specifically nurses and caregivers.

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