On October 1, a signing ceremony for the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) was held in Tokyo.
1. All those that had participated in the negotiation process attended the ceremony: Australia, Canada, the EU, South Korea, Mexico, Morocco, New Zealand, Singapore, Switzerland, the United States and Japan. The representatives of the 8 nations that completed the necessary domestic processes signed the Agreement: Australia, Canada, Japan, South Korea, Morocco, New Zealand, Singapore and the United States. Foreign Minister Koichiro Genba and International Trade Minister Ed Fast signed the Agreement on behalf of Japan and Canada, respectively.
2. (1) In his opening statement, Minister Genba first expressed his heartfelt appreciation for the support and encouragement Japan has received from those countries and regions in the aftermath of the Great East Japan Earthquake, and then proceeded to state that the ACTA, the concept of which was first developed by Japan, would herald a new chapter for the international rules of intellectual property protection.
(2) Some of the representatives remarked in their subsequent speeches that the ACTA aims to protect an element essential to the 21st century economy, intellectual property, and that the ACTA symbolizes the signatories’ desire for stronger international cooperation in this area. Others stressed their expectations that the Agreement would come into force swiftly, with many more countries joining the initiative along the way.
3.On the eve of the ceremony an international symposium “Global Perspective of Intellectual Property Strategy and Recovery from the Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami Disaster – Combating counterfeiting and piracy with ACTA” was held in Sendai, Japan.