【News】 Special Committee begins deliberation whether to ratify TPP free trade pact: Ruling and opposite parties spar over deliberation time taking Diet dissolution into consideration (Oct.15, 2016)

The special committee of the House of Representatives began deliberation whether to ratify the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) free trade pact and pass its related bills under the chairmanship of Ryu Shionoya on October 14.

The administration and ruling parties are eager for approval of the TPP agreement, since Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has pledged that the TPP pact should be ratified at the current session of the Diet.

On the other hand, opposite parties are poised to become more aggressive against the Shinzo Abe’s administration by carrying out thorough investigations not only into TPP pact’s consistency with the Diet’s resolution regarding the TPP trade negotiations, but also into dubious transactions of rice imported under “simultaneous buy and sell” (SBS) system governed by the administration.

The conflict between the ruling and opposite parties is further intensifying, while both of them are respectively considering possible Diet dissolution into consideration.

There is also a strong anxiety that the ruling parties could forcibly pass the TPP related bills at the special committee.

Abe’s administration and ruling parties plan to get the TPP pact ratified before the current extraordinary session of the Diet ends on November 30.

Meanwhile, opposite parties, including the Democratic Party and the Japanese Communist Party, are likely to attack the administration by bringing up concerns particularly over inconsistency between the TPP pact and the Diet’s resolution as well as negative impacts by the TPP free trades on agricultural production in the country.
Arguments over the government’s disclosure of information on the TPP negotiations could be again brought up by the opposite parties. Those parties will continue to clarify the responsibility of the administration for shady deals of SBS imported rice.

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