Japan’s ruling LDP seeks to not bend to US pressure on trade

TOKYO, April 25 — Japan’s governing party has reaffirmed it will not accept U.S. demands that go beyond the concessions Tokyo made as part of the original Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).

The Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) held a meeting on April 24, following the recent outcome of a Japan-the U.S. summit on trade at the U.S. president’s Mar-a-Lago resort club in Florida.

“We will work closely with the government to make sure not to have our farmers and fishermen worried,” said Hiroshi Moriyama, who chaired the meeting with an internal task force that deals with trade pacts such as the TPP.

The move comes after Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and the U.S. President Donald Trump announced at Mar-a-Lago that they will start talks on “free, fair and reciprocal trade deals.”

They also agreed that Japanese Economy Minister Toshimitsu Motegi and U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer will head up the new trade talks, reporting to Deputy Prime Minister Taro Aso and U.S. Vice President Mike Pence.

Motegi, who attended the LDP’s meeting, said: “The announcement is neither considered as a new FTA negotiation, nor preliminary talks to launch a bilateral trade negotiation.

“Specifically, when it comes to the agricultural market access, we made it clear to our U.S. counterparts that we already made maximum concessions in the TPP deal,” he added.

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