【News】 Anti-TPP LDP members confirm determination to protect key agricultural products (Aug. 7, 2013)


The Liberal Democratic Party’s Diet members opposing Japan’s participation in the Trans-Pacific Partnership free-trade talks held a meeting on Tuesday, August 6, to reaffirm their determination to protect five key agricultural products from tariff elimination.

Lower House member Hiroshi Moriyama, who heads the group of 256 members, more than half of all the LDP Diet members, said they will definitely keep the promise they made with the Japanese people. Moriyama stressed that defending national interests means sticking to the resolutions adopted by the LDP and the committees of both houses of the Diet.

The resolutions state that the government should be ready to pull out of the negotiations if the sensitive agricultural products are not exempted from tariff cuts, and Moriyama called on the government to keep the resolutions in mind when negotiating for the TPP agreement.

Anti-TPP members of LDP gather in Tokyo on Tuesday, August 6, to reassert the need to protect national interests.

Anti-TPP members of LDP gather in Tokyo on Tuesday, August 6, to reassert the need to protect national interests.

According to Upper House member Toshio Yamada who heads the group’s secretariat, 16 newly elected Diet members joined the group after the Upper House election. The group hopes to expand the number of members, as LDP members occupy more than 60% of the Diet, with 410 seats in both houses.

Tuesday’s meeting was the group’s first meeting held after Japan formally joined the TPP talks in the Malaysia round of negotiations in July. Some 130 LDP members attended the meeting to listen to explanations by Japanese government officials and members of agricultural groups who visited Malaysia at the time.

Group members expressed concern over the confidentiality of the TPP negotiations. Lower House member Mamoru Fukuyama said the problem about TPP negotiations is that only the final text of the agreement will be disclosed after it is agreed upon by the TPP member countries. Lower House member Mayuko Toyota said negotiators might make a compromise based on their own judgment, without reflecting the opinions of Diet members or the public. Other members said if the TPP agreement fails to meet the resolutions made by the Diet, Diet members should object to its approval in the Diet.

(Aug. 7, 2013)

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