“Even if a renegotiation of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) free trade agreement is demanded in a near future, we will never take a seat at the table,” Prime Minister Shinzo Abe pledged on Jan. 27 at a plenary session of the Diet. Abe made this reply to a question raised by a member of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party, who was concerned that a TPP member country would urge Japan to make further concession possibly at a TPP renegotiation table so as to facilitate approvals for TPP bills from her congress.
Abe had delivered his key policy speech for 2016 on Jan. 22, and he was asked various questions including TPP issues by some members of ruling and opposition parties. “Within a framework of the TPP free trade pact, an agreement on a certain field is complicatedly tangled with other deals. It could be compared to a simultaneous equation of the multi-dimension. If one issue is picked up for renegotiation, the whole package will be broken down,” Prime Minister told the policy makers at the Diet session.
Abe further emphasized Japan would play a leading role in pursuing an early implementation of the TPP agreement, by saying “TPP deals take effect sooner. This is exactly what promotes our national interests.”
Meanwhile, representative members of opposition parties expressed their views objecting to the TPP free trade agreement. They also criticized Abe’s administration particularly for taking a negative stance toward complete disclosures of information on TPP negotiation process as well as details concerning the deals.
(Jan. 28, 2016)