Import quotas and remaining tariffs are significant barriers that would be lifted under a free-trade agreement.
Others argue that a free-trade agreement is unnecessary given the presence of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) and the Structural Impediments Initiative (SII).
Unlike the SII, which has become mired in technical details, such as how much public investment and how many sidewalks Japan should have, a free-trade agreement offers a more comprehensive format that would attract more attention from the general public.
A free-trade agreement would require Japan to hold keiretsu members accountable for anti-competitive activities that violate Japan's antitrust laws.
For example, a free-trade agreement would focus on the many building restrictions in Japan that keep new businesses from entering the market in major cities like Tokyo.
A free-trade agreement could work to remove these restrictions so that American firms have room to set up business in Japan.
A free-trade agreement could reduce the waiting time for large store applications even more, and pursue any additional steps necessary to make large retail stores more accessible.
Yeo said that a free-trade agreement with Japan would deepen bilateral ties, promote stability and prosperity in Southeast Asia and spur trade liberalization in the Asia-Pacific region.
Singapore is also studying the feasibility of free-trade agreements with New Zealand, Chile and South Korea.