Vanderbilt Journal of Transnational Law


Derek Lick

First Page



This Note analyzes the U.S.-Japanese aviation agreement and the negotiations that led to its signing. More specifically, it examines how the parties involved--including U.S. airline carriers who disagreed as to how the United States should proceed--influenced the negotiation process. Part II of the Note focuses on the current U.S. policy of expanding open skies when negotiating bilateral aviation treaties with foreign countries. Part III looks at the U.S.-Japanese aviation market and its importance for U.S. airlines. Part IV examines how the Japanese government successfully used its strategic placement in the Asian market to avoid U.S. efforts to impose an open skies agreement. In this section, emphasis is placed on the peculiarities of relations between the two countries under the 1952 agreement and how the details of the new agreement represent a middle ground that both countries hope to exploit. Part V describes the new 1998 bilateral agreement. Finally, Part VI predicts how the Japanese agreement may impact future aviation "liberalization" negotiations: did the United States compromise its bargaining position in future negotiations by "caving in" to Japan and accepting an agreement that falls short of open skies? Or did the United States correctly approach the negotiations pragmatically and with an eye toward reaching the best agreement possible given the circumstances? The Note attempts to answer these questions and proposes how the United States should conduct future aviation negotiations.