Founded in 1976, CCCE is dedicated to strengthening Canada`s economy and society by developing sound public policies in Canada, North America and around the world. Senior executives from Member States represent all sectors of the Canadian economy. Important ccCE members have consistently supported Canada-Japan economic policy relations and worked closely with government and private organizations in Canada and Japan to continue to promote trade and investment between the two countries. As noted in the joint study, regional and bilateral trade agreements are designed to reflect the interests and priorities of participating members and maximize mutual benefits through more open and liberalized trade and investment. Free trade agreements and EPAs, as well as other measures such as regulatory cooperation, must meet specific requirements for harmonization, facilitation or regulation of trade transactions that, of course, occur between countries and businesses. In many areas, such as trade in goods, investment policy and competition policy, Canada and Japan share common views on best practices in negotiating good quality agreements and cooperation, while understanding that each country has certain sensitive sectors. In the area of financial services, bilateral financial consultations have been a very useful forum to promote mutual interests on a number of issues related to financial services trade and investment issues and to strengthen the basis for further cooperation and exchange of information on financial sector issues. Financial consultations between Canada and Japan take place every 18 to 24 months, involving the Department of Finance and the Financial Services Agency on the Japanese side, as well as the Department of Finance, the Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions and the Bank of Canada on the Canadian side. The last Canadian and Japanese authorities met in Ottawa in June 2005 to discuss a number of issues related to financial policy and international financial cooperation, including economic cooperation in Asia, the G7 process and the WTO negotiations on financial services. Canada has significant capabilities in the defence and aerospace sectors, both in peacekeeping and conventional defence, and stakeholders are working to strengthen industrial cooperation with Japan. Canadian industry interest groups have identified two issues that they believe require special attention: the need for Canada to address restrictions on the export of Canadian automatic firearms to Japan; and the need for a mechanism to facilitate the issuance of industrial security clearances.
Since the implementation of the Canada-Japan economic framework in January 2005, the two countries have made significant progress in a number of priority areas of cooperation. The conclusion of an agreement on anti-competitive activities and a customs cooperation agreement, as well as the signing of a social security agreement and a bilateral investment promotion agreement between the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade of Canada (DFAIT) and the Japan Foreign Trade Organization (JETRO) were a key element for the Canadian and Japanese authorities as well as for the private sector. Footnote 12 In addition to these early achievements, steps have been taken to strengthen political dialogue in other priority areas such as cooperation in the area of food security.