Industry input on TPP sought

Kyodo

The government Monday sought opinions from industry lobbies and groups on the Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiations Japan is set to join next month.

During a briefing in Tokyo on the outline and expected impact of the trade talks, the government asked participants to provide examples of specific issues they face in the 21 fields dealt with in the talks, including rules on tariffs, investment and intellectual property.

Aiming to reflect their opinions in the upcoming negotiations, Japan is gathering the input before joining the talks on July 23.

The next round of talks will be held in Malaysia from July 15 to 25. But Japan can only take part in the last few days of those talks because the United States will not complete its domestic procedures to start trade talks with Japan until then.

Among the 128 organizations invited to Monday’s meeting were Keidanren, which represents Japan’s largest companies, the Central Union of Agricultural Cooperatives, the Japan Medical Association and the Life Insurance Association of Japan.

In the morning session, government officials explained that the talks began four years ago and member nations aim to conclude a deal by the end of this year.

They also said the government estimates the TPP will boost Japan’s gross domestic product by 0.66 percent, or ¥3.2 trillion, even including a forecasted ¥3 trillion reduction in agricultural output, over approximately 10 years.

The 11 countries involved are Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, the United States and Vietnam.