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Mexican President Pena Nieto backs Japan’s TPP bid

by Reiji Yoshida

Staff Writer

Visiting Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto expressed his support for Japan’s participation in the Trans-Pacific Partnership free-trade talks Monday in Tokyo, signing a joint statement with Prime Minster Shinzo Abe to further expand the bilateral relationship between the two countries.

Mexico is the seventh country to express support for Japan’s participation in the TPP talks, while four others — the United States, Australia, Canada and New Zealand — have yet to finalize their positions.

For Japan to join, all of the 11 member countries need to approve Japan’s bid for membership.

“We have expressed our support for Japan’s participation in TPP talks,” Pena Nieto told reporters after a ceremony was held to sign the joint statement.

In the joint statement, the two leaders urged North Korea “to refrain from taking any more provocative actions” and observe United Nations resolutions against Pyongyang’s nuclear weapon and missile development.

The two leaders also agreed to further promote trade, investment and cultural exchanges between the two countries.

“Mexico is a strategic global partner that shares (with Japan) fundamental values, such as rule of law and free trade,” Abe said. “We’d like to further deepen and expand the bilateral relationship.”

Pena Nieto was on his Asian diplomatic tour to China and Japan. He arrived in Tokyo on Sunday and will leave Haneda airport on Wednesday after holding a press conference in Tokyo earlier that day.