Japan’s Abe pledges to advance farm reforms after election

TOKYO, Nov. 18 — Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, in his first policy speech to the Japanese Parliament following his recent landslide election victory, has pledged to keep advancing farm reforms.

“I’m convinced that Japanese citizens desire to see implementation of the policy pledges in a stable political manner,” Abe said in an address on Nov. 17.

“We will reform the entire agriculture sector so that younger generations can have hope and opt for farming careers,” he added.

Abe’s governing Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) and its coalition partner Komeito swept to victory in an October national election, with a two-thirds majority in the lower house of parliament.

He also said that Japan will push for the Comprehensive Progressive Agreement for the Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) to come into effect early.

His remarks came a week after trade ministers from the remaining 11 TPP members reached a political agreement to keep the trade deal alive without the United States.

The prime minister also emphasized the importance of the Japan-EU Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA).

“Japan will remain committed to developing global free trade zones that are based on fair and equitable trading rules,” Abe said. “The Japan-EU EPA, together with the TPP, will become a new engine of Abenomics.”

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