As early as 1999, Japan created a Committee for Closer Economic Relations between Japan and Mexico within the Japan External Trade Organization. This body released a report in 2000 concluding that a free trade agreement would be an effective means for strengthening economic ties between the two countries.
On 5 June 2001 the President of Mexico and the Prime Minister of Japan established a bilateral commission composed of academics, and members of the public and private sectors. The Japan -Mexico Joint Study Group on the Strengthening of Bilateral Economic Relations to explore and study measures to cement trade and investment relations between Japan and Mexico and to analyze the desirability of a free trade agreement (FTA) between the two countries. Meetings were held on seven occasions.
On 25 July 2002, the Joint Study Group released its final report, which contains a comprehensive set of conclusions and recommendations concerning the liberalization of trade in goods and services, government procurement, and investment. The governments of Japan and Mexico subsequently decided to launch negotiations to conclude a bilateral agreement, including the elements of a free trade agreement, to strengthen their bilateral economic relations and revitalize their economies.
The Mexico-Japan Agreement for the Strengthening of the Economic Partnership was signed on 17 September 2004.