It's high time we start strengthening our trade relationships with others than just our neighbors in close physical proximity (in reference to an article posted today in the Globe and Mail). We are not as bound by distances as we once were. We trade more in information today than ever before and Canada, being a country rich in knowledge workers, has a lot to offer to the rest of the world. Of course we will continue to trade in goods like lumber, oil and gas but our economy is run more and more on knowledge.
I have nothing at all against trading with the US but subscribe to the wisdom of not placing all of one's eggs in one basket.
The devil will be in the details, however. The benefit Canadians will reap from a free trade agreement with Japan will be determined by the deal that is brokered. Regardless of the short-term outcome, as it may need adjusting to achieve maximum return for us, to start negotiations is a step in the right direction.