The Roles of Australia and Japan in Institutionalising Regional Economic Integration in Asia: The case of TPP and RCEP

Mr Yuma Osaki

1The Australian National University, ACTON, Australia

What is the nature of making the multi-pronged trade regime in Asia? After multilateralism deadlocked, in contrast to single and unified regional integration schemes in other areas, like the NAFTA in North America and the European Union, Asia ended up with creating the so-called “dualistic-order”: the nested, overlapping, and parallel normative trading regimes with different members in Asia-Pacific and East Asia, such as the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP).

The fundamental driver was states motives in struggling against economic discrimination. In the structural level, the creation of dualistic trade regime in Asia was chiefly affected by the two significant regional elements – the constant rise of China and the wax-and-wane of US trade leadership. While the previous studies have well-explained these tectonic changes, focusing on the superpower politics or the role of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) as an institutional hub, the behaviour of adaptive states in regime setting remained under-examined in the literature. Based on the neoclassical realist approach, this research seeks to fill the gap, by asking why Australia and Japan – the US key allies, were particularly instrumental among the other adaptive states in the process of dualistic regional institution-building.


Yuma Osaki is PhD student at the Crawford School of Public Policy at the ANU. His research interest is International Relations and International Political Economy (IR/IPE), particularly focusing on the politics of the international economy.


The Asian Studies Association of Australia (ASAA) is the peak body of university experts and educators on Asia in Australia. Established in 1976, we promote and support the study of Asia in Australian universities and knowledge of Asia among the broader community. Our membership is drawn mainly from academics and students, but also includes industry and government Asia experts. We take a strong interest in promoting knowledge about Asia in schools and in contributing to state and Commonwealth government policies related to Asia. We provide informed comment on Asia to a broad public through our bulletin, Asian Currents, and specialist research articles in our journal, Asian Studies Review. Four book series published under our auspices cover Southeast Asia, South Asia, East Asia and Women in Asia.

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