"Taiwan and Japan on Thursday signed an agreement that lowers bilateral investment barriers, a significant step toward an eventual free-trade deal between the two countries.
The accord covers three areas: trade liberalization, trade promotion and protection of investment. It will now be sent to Taiwan's Parliament, the Legislative Yuän (Lìfǎyuàn) 立法院, for review before it enters into force.
The investment arrangement is the first economic deal Taiwan has signed with a nonallied country since T'aipei and Beijing (Běijīng) 北京 inked a preferential free-trade agreement in June last year.
Ōhashi said the pact is a major milestone for bilateral relations that will allow exchanges between the two countries to enter a new phase.
Japan is Taiwan's second-largest trading partner and its biggest investor, with more than $16 billion invested over the past 50 years, while Taiwan is Japan's fourth-largest trading partner and has invested about $1.6 billion in its Asian neighbor."